Last year, the ICC added a new playing standards criteria to the various criteria that had to be met for affiliate members to be promoted to associate status. This meant that they had to be one of the top two ranked affiliates in their region and have two wins against associate members in the previous two years.
Jersey became the second ranked European affiliate after finishing as runners-up to Norway in the European Championship Division Two in August 2006, but only beat one associate on their way to the final of the event. To enable their application for associate membership to be considered, they arranged a three match tour of Italy that has just been completed, all matches being played in Grosetto, north of Rome.
In order to meet the playing standards criteria, they were required to win one of the games and be "highly competitive" in one of the others. This they achieved in fine style.
In the first match, on the 23rd, Italy won the toss and elected to bat. The two players in the Italian side with first-class experience top-scored for them, with Nicholas Northcote scoring 91 and Joe Scuderi scoring 64. The rest of the Italian side then collapsed, losing six wickets for just 14 runs before their number ten scored a quick 20 to lift them to 266/9 from their 50 overs. Christopher Jones took 4/39 from his ten overs.
This left Jersey with a tricky target, but they had little trouble chasing it down. Opener Peter Gough and skipper Matthew Hague both scored exactly 100 as they put on a second wicket partnership of 160 as Jersey won by eight wickets.
This left Jersey needing to be "highly competitive" in one of the remaining two games. The result in the second game was highly competitive in anyone's book. Italy again batted first, and opener Kurukulasuriya scored 77, but no other Italian batsman could reach thirty as they reached 214/8 from their 50 overs.
Jersey therefore had a relatively simple target to chase, and they again showed little problem reaching it. They lost the two centurions from the previous day's game for just 39 in total, but two others contributed well, with S Carlyon scoring 97 and Christopher Jones scoring 85 as they put on an unbeaten 176 run partnership to give Jersey another eight wicket win.
In the third match, Italy scored 265/8 from their 50 overs and Jersey reached 28/0 from eight before rain brought a close to the series.
Jersey's application for associate membership is set to be reviewed at the ICC's annual meeting in July. There is an ICC inspection to pass too with regards to facilities and governance. The facilities in Jersey are better than those in some associate members, with a fair amount of turf wickets available. They are set to host a European Under 19 tournament later this year, and hosted women's one-day internationals in 2002.