ICC Europe Media Release
Ireland has been confirmed as the host of the 2008 ICC European Division 1 Championship.
The announcement comes after a recent meeting of the ICC Europe Cricket Committee in which representatives from Europe's 27 ICC member countries finalised next year's European tournament schedule.
Ireland has hosted the Division 1 Championship only once before back in 2002 when the then 12-team tournament which included Division 2 was held in Belfast and included an ECB XI who took the title.
The competition now includes Europe's four High Performance Program (HPP) countries - Denmark, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands, plus Italy and the 2006 Division 2 Champion, Norway, who will enter into the Division 1 competition for the first time. All six of these countries are also part of the new ICC World Cricket League structure.
The previous Division 1 Championship hosted by Scotland in 2006 saw the Irish crowned European Champions and the side will be keen to defend that title next year on home soil. The event will also see three official one day internationals between the HPP countries.
Good news also comes for Guernsey, who will be hosting the Division 2 6-team Championship in August 2008. The hosts will be fighting it out against 4 other countries - France, Germany, Gibraltar and Jersey. The 6th competitor will be decided later this year when Croatia, who finished top of Division 3 in Belgium this summer, will play-off against Israel who came bottom of the Division 2 in 2006. The fixture is scheduled to take place on November 18th in Israel.
The ĎA' Team Division 1 Championship will help to prepare fringe players of the four HPP sides for selection for the ICC World Cup Qualifier in early 2009 in the United Arab Emirates, where Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands are already assured of a place. This tournament will be held in the Netherlands in July 2008.
2008 ICC European Tournament Schedule