You may have thought that the cricket season has drawn to a close for another year but over in Spain a National Counties XI are taking on the very best in Europe for the first time in the inaugural Dream 11 European Cricket Championships.
The National Counties Cricket Association (NCCA) oversee the 20 National Counties (formerly minor counties), representing over 30% of participants in England & Wales and their representative side is picked from players across all counties.
The side have topped their group and are on course to reach the final of the competition on Friday 8 October.
After finishing top of their Group in the T10 competition, The National Counties XI (NCCA) played Italy in the Group Final who had previously beaten Germany in the Eliminator. NCCA chased down 141 from the Italians and won by six wickets with skipper Dan Lincoln (Berkshire) hitting an incredible 105 not out in only 31 balls in an innings containing 11 sixes.
The three-week competition played at Cartama Oval in Malaga, Spain, brings together 15 countries from across Europe, and aims to help connect communities across the continent.
The NCCA XI are participating in this competition to provide inspiration to ICC Associate Member Countries to improve their skills and help continue to grow the game in non-traditional cricket playing countries and settings.
The team have qualified for the Championship Week from 4-8 October with the side due to face Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in a round robin format. They will be aiming to qualify for the final on Friday 8 October.
Talking about the competition, Paul Bedford ECB Leagues & National Counties Manager said, “It is brilliant to see the NCCA side doing so well and that the competition is off to such a great start with some excellent competitive cricket taking place. We know that many countries across Europe are seeing a growth in cricket-loving refugee communities and we believe that the sport is perfectly placed to bring people together.
The NCCA have a vitally important role in developing professional players by giving opportunities to young local talent and engaging fans in the 20 counties they represent. This competition is a great example of that – allowing talented players the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best players in Europe.
The National Counties Cricket Association represents the pinnacle of recreational cricket in England and Wales.