ICC Europe has today announced the cancellation of its inaugural ICC European Twenty20 Challenge competition which had been scheduled to be played in Belfast from 20-22 July 2007.

Europe's four ICC Associate Member High Performance countries - Scotland, Ireland, The Netherlands and Denmark, were set to compete in the Championship, which was a new addition to the European tournament program for 2007.

The decision to cancel the event comes after recent and future announcements that three of these countries (Scotland, Ireland and The Netherlands) will take part in several official One Day Internationals (ODIs) during June, July and August, which were not previously scheduled.

ICC Regional Development Manager for Europe, Richard Holdsworth commented, 'The recent announcement of an ODI series between India and South Africa in Belfast is fantastic news for the further promotion of the game in Ireland.

'It will provide additional world class cricket for the many followers in Ireland, but most importantly both of these ICC full members have agreed to play against Ireland, now ranked 10th on the LG ICC ODI Championship table.

'With additional ODIs soon to be announced for Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands against some Full Members, this exposure and experience is more important at this stage than Twenty20 cricket.'

Due to the timing of these matches and other ongoing issues regarding player availability, the four European High Performance Programme countries have decided that there is no possibility of competing in the inaugural ICC European Twenty20 Challenge this year.

ICC Europe has therefore decided to cancel this event for 2007, and will review the tournament schedule with a possibility of the competition being held in 2008 or 2009.

Holdsworth added, 'We are deeply sorry to any supporters who may have already made arrangements to attend the Twenty20 event in Belfast, but hope they are able to reschedule plans and perhaps support their countries in key ODIs later in the summer.'