Jersey will face tough opposition if they’re to progress towards the T20 World Cup after the draw for the World T20 Europe Qualifier was announced.
Denmark are joined in Group A by Germany – where cricket is growing rapidly – as well as France, Austria, Cyprus and Portugal. Jersey, in Group B, will be joined by fellow top seed Italy, along with Belgium, Spain, Isle of Man and Finland.
Group C sees Nordic neighbours Sweden and Norway go head-to-head against fifth and final top seed Guernsey, as well as Gibraltar, Israel and Czech Republic. All three groups will be staged as part of a single event to be held in the Netherlands between 29 August and 3 September 2018, with the top two teams from each going through to the European Final in 2019.
The European Qualifier and Final are part of a new simplified qualification process for ICC global events that provides a merit-based pathway for every Member. As well as reducing the number of steps towards a global event, the new process also provides more regular competitive opportunities for more Members with the ultimate aim of more competitive teams in T20 cricket.
Eighteen European teams will vie for six spots in the World T20 Europe Final in 2019, demonstrating the tremendous growth of cricket across Europe. The competing teams will have an opportunity to join the four other European nations (England, Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands) who have already qualified for the World T20 or the T20 Global Qualifier.
Regional Development Manager Europe Ed Shuttleworth commented: “It is incredibly exciting to see 22 European nations challenge for spots in the ICC World T20 2020. Eighteen of these teams will start their journey in the Netherlands on 29 August 2018, with the remainder joining in 2019 or 2020 itself. The number of national teams competing is evidence of the expansion of cricket across Europe and we look forward to this wonderful celebration of European cricket.”
The Netherlands has been selected to host this event and is looking forward to accommodating their European neighbours in their world class facilities. Chairperson Betty Timmer commented: “We are excited to host the World T20 Europe Qualifiers. The event will be an incredible spectacle with 18 countries playing across three groups of six. The KNCB look forward to welcoming our European friends to the Netherlands.”