Associate Cricket: European WT20 Div2 Preview
Russell Degnan

Has started already, but that is helpful in its own way, since it is near impossible to find useful information about the sport's actual minnows otherwise. Two teams form here will progress to division one, which means almost the entire tournament rests on the two semi-final matches. On the other hand, this will even out the apparent disparity between groups.

Group A has but 5 teams. Switzerland was relegated to division three in somewhat mysterious circumstances, but seemingly a result of in-fighting as is the wont of cricket boards everywhere. The ICC ought to have fille dthe gap with Estonia, 2nd in division 3, but have left a short group instead. But not just a short group, also considerably weaker, even with Switzerland, and one the Isle of Man should walk. Their test will come later, but the battle for second will be tense.

Group B is much closer, and the prize for coming first and meeting the weaker qualifier is high. Spain and Greece would appear to be favourites, with Belgium a definite challenger in home conditions. Sweden, who dominated division 3 may be strong too and they have received an unexpected boost from the rain in their match against Greece.

A final word on websites. The ICC (or the regional organisations) have been outsourcing their web content to external providers. When Crcket Europe are the beneficiary it is a very good thing with live commentary across all matches. But they need to sort it out for other regions, because they are well below par. That said, barely 3 years ago you couldn't find associate coverage at this level at all. That is a big step.

Cricket - Associate 22nd June, 2011 00:32:58   [#]