The European Cricket League has announced that Cricket Ireland have become partners of their competition, with Belfast’s CIYMS Cricket Club becoming Ireland’s first entrant.
CIYMS sealed their place in ECL20 by winning the Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Cup back in August last year, defeating Malahide in the final. Ireland international all-rounder Mark Adair nursed home their successful chase, with CIYMS winning the match by seven wickets, and with ten balls to spare.
Adair joins fellow Irish internationals Jacob Mulder, James Cameron-Dow, Chris Dougherty, Nigel Jones and Jason van der Merwe in a side thirsty for silverware.
“2019 was the most successful season in the history of CIYMS CC and all of our guys are really looking forward to this exciting new challenge,” said CIYMS Chairman, Richard Heasley.
“Over the last decade we have collected a number of league and cup trophies within the Northern Cricket Union and last season at national level. We are thrilled to be invited to take our chance on the international stage and meet the best in Europe at ECL20.”
Ireland is a giant figure in European Cricket, with the national team featuring in three World Cups, and is set to compete for the sixth time in this year’s T20 World Cup. Given Full Member status in 2017, Ireland’s domestic scene strongly features three provincial unions (Leinster, Northern and North West), with a fourth province, Munster, competing in domestic T20 action. Underneath are the clubs, with national team members and high-level domestic players turning out when available.
Founder of the European Cricket League, Daniel Weston, believes Ireland share similar ambitions to that of the ECL.
“While myself and the Cricket Ireland team, in particular Elaine Nolan, worked together on the partnership, it was very evident that everyone at Cricket Ireland is driven and working especially hard to grow the game at all levels and in all formats.
“Irish cricket is steeped in tradition, history and love for the game. Becoming a Test-playing nation in recent years is a credit to their cricketing culture and administration,” said Daniel Weston, Founder of the European Cricket League.
CIYMS will pose a threat to 2019 champions VOC Rotterdam, who face a harder task of defending their crown in 2020. On top of the Irish talent, South African Migael Pretorius will bolster their ranks, fresh from winning the T10 Abu Dhabi League with the Arabians side.
Ireland joins neighbours England and Scotland as new members of the ECL, while Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium also make their debuts in the tournament.
The ECL’s second staging begins on May 31 at La Manga Club in Spain, with play spread over eight days.