Nationwide U15 heads for regional finals

Ecb U15 National Club Championship

The Nationwide U15 National Club Championships is heading towards the regional finals stage of the 2008 competition from a new record entry of 1750 teams.

The championships are primarily organised on a county basis, with each County Board managing a competition to find their winning club, although the entire tournament is overseen by the ECB cricket department.

At the county play-offs stage, the ECB then takes on a more prominent role, determining the draw and timetable, before taking on all arrangements for the regional and national finals. Last year the trophy was lifted by Tunbridge Wells CC of Kent.

Initiated by the Lord’s Taverners in 1972, the competition has served as a very useful breeding ground for future England talent, with players like Marcus Trescothick, Nasser Hussain, Monty Panesar and James Anderson all having participated at a young age.

Andrew Flintoff played in the 1993 competition, scoring 234 not out in 20 overs in one match – an innings which included 22 sixes.

ECB commercial director John Perera pinpointed the benefits of Nationwide’s sponsorship: “We are excited to be working with such a dynamic company who have a strong heritage in youth sports sponsorship.

“The partnership between the ECB and Nationwide will ensure that this competition provides talented young cricketers with a national platform on which to perform.”

Nationwide Sponsorship Controller Chris Hull added: “Nationwide is thrilled to be the title sponsor of this event in 2008.

“It is a testament to the heritage and quality of the Nationwide U15 National Club Cricket Championship that it has produced so many world class performers over the years.”

Sunday July 13 and Sunday 20 will see the completion of the county play-offs, where the winning clubs will then represent their designated counties.

These have been divided into four regional groups and two rounds, comprising the following fixtures:

Group 1

1st round:
Lincolnshire v Yorkshire
Scotland v Northumberland

2nd round:
Cumbria v Lancashire
Derbyshire v Cheshire
Durham v Scotland or Northumberland
Nottinghamshire v Lincolnshire or Yorkshire

Group 2

1st round:
Cambridgeshire v Suffolk
Huntingdonshire v Norfolk
Shropshire v Staffordshire

2nd round:
Cambridgeshire or Suffolk v Huntingdonshire or Norfolk
Leicestershire v Northamptonshire
Oxfordshire v Warwickshire
Worcestershire v Shropshire or Staffordshire

Group 3

1st round:
Wales v Herefordshire
Wiltshire v Isle of Wight

2nd round:
Devon v Cornwall
Dorset v Somerset
Gloucestershire v Wales or Herefordshire
Hampshire v Wiltshire or Isle of Wight

Group 4

1st round:
Hertfordshire v Bedfordshire

2nd round:
Berkshire v Buckinghamshire
Essex v Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire
Kent v Sussex
Surrey v Middlesex

The winners of these matches will then progress into the regional finals:

Group 1: York Cricket Club, Wednesday July 30
Group 2: Leamington Cricket Club, Monday August 4
Group 3: Weston-super-Mare Cricket Club, Thursday July 31
Group 4: Horsham Cricket Club, Wednesday August 6

The national finals made up of the regional division winners will take place on Thursday August 21 at Kibworth Cricket Club in Leicestershire, set to be attended by a host of England and county stars.