The draw and tournament format for the 2021 European Cricket League has been announced.

Defending champions VOC Rotterdam have been placed in the finals week group, with the other 15 participants drawn into three groups of five, with teams seeded based on the T20I rankings of their respective countries.

English representatives Swardeston are the top seeds in Group A, where they will be joined by Italy’s Brescia, Germany’s FCA04 Darmstadt, Dreux of France and the yet to be confirmed Spanish champions. Matches in this group will take place from 31st May to 4th June.

Scotland’s champions Forfarshire are the top seeds for Group B and their opponents will be Norway’s Bjorvika, HBS Crayenhout of the Netherlands, Belgium’s Ostend Exiles and Swedish champions Lund. These teams will compete from 7th to 11th June.

Irish representatives CIYMS are seeded as the top teams in Group C, where they will come up against Romania’s Cluj - the team that made headlines in 2019 with Pavel Florin - in addition to Svanholm of Denmark, Helsinki Gymkhana from Finland and Russian champions Moscow Foxes. These matches will take place from 14th to 18th June.

The winners of each group plus the best runners-up will join VOC for finals week from 21st June to 25th June. All matches will take place in La Manga.

Each of the groups will see a rather busy five days of cricket, with 20 matches in a double round robin over the first four days followed by a finals day. The bottom team won’t be involved on finals day which will see the top four teams take part in a Page Play-off as in the IPL.

With 100 T10 matches in just under four weeks, it’ll be a busy month of cricket in La Manga as the sixteen teams battle it out to be crowned the second “Kings of European Cricket”.