ICC Europe Media Release
28 of Europe's most promising young cricketers will travel to La Manga Club , Spain in April next year to take part in the tenth annual ICC European Centre of Excellence.
This is the third consecutive year that the five-day camp will be held at the world-class leisure resort located in Murcia , South-Eastern Spain on the Costa Calida. The club's cricket centre includes two pitches with artificial wickets and a four-bay artificial net facility.
The group of youngsters, all aged between 13 and 17, come from 14 European countries, including Europe's top three Associates, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland and lesser known Affiliate member countries, such as Cyprus, Spain and Switzerland.
The Centre of Excellence will be organised by ICC European Development Officer Richard Bedbrook , a recent addition to the ICC Europe team, who states that the idea behind it is, 'to identify and select a crop of the most talented young cricketers in Europe at this age group and provide them with an opportunity to develop their talents through excellent coaching and support services in order for them to achieve their potential'.
He added 'It is with great pleasure that we announce the names of the 28 cricketers and 14 leaders who will participate in this year's event, making this one of the largest camps yet, and we hope that all involved will benefit from the coaching and support on offer from the ICC Europe coaching team'.
The 14 leaders are coaches or development officers with one coming from each of the participating country boards. These coaches will accompany the players on the camp offering further support, whilst at the same time they will take part in a separate coach education programme tailored to their needs as coaches within their own countries. The sessions for these participants include a series of seminars and presentations and the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the ICC Europe coaching team.
The team consists of five coaches who will lead sessions on batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping, with focus also being placed on physical conditioning, tactics and leadership. In addition to Bedbrook, the coaches include Centre of Excellence Director Richard O'Sullivan, who has been involved with the initiative since it began in 1999 and Philip Hudson ICC European Development Officer - Performance who organised the camp for the previous four years before handing over the reigns to newcomer Bedbrook. Both have extensive coaching experience at club, county and national level.
Working alongside Bedbrook, Hudson and O'Sullivan are two Europe-based coaches - Roland Lefebvre, who is national youth coach for the Netherlands Cricket Board (KNCB) and whose extensive cricket career saw him play first class county cricket in the UK and Australia and compete for the Netherlands in two World Cups, and Mickey Lund, Denmark's Cricket Development Officer and a current member of the Danish national side which competed last month in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia.
The ICC European Centre of Excellence has for the past ten years been an integral part of the ICC European Development Program and the results are starting to show with several of the graduates now playing for their national sides, including Daan van Bunge and Alexei Kervezee of the Netherlands, young players who have both broken through to the senior team. Next year's event will take place from the 7th -12th of April 2008.