|European Under 15 (Division 1) Championship: Scotland, July 2009|
ICC Europe Media Release
The 2009 ICC Europe Under 15 Division 1 Championship begins on Sunday in Dundee and lasts until 24 July. Although the tournament is based in Dundee, the matches will be played at ten venues in Fife, Angus and Perthshire.
This year will be the first in which the six teams (Scotland, Guernsey, Jersey, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands) will play each other on a round-robin basis - the matches are 45 overs per innings.
The hosts are the reigning champions, having defeated Ireland by 16 runs in last year's final in Jersey. That victory ended Ireland's eight year reign as Under 15 champions.
Scotland will be captained by opening batsman and off spinner Ross McLean who was one of their leading run scorers last year in Jersey.
Others who featured in that triumph and are selected again include Nick Farrar and Andrew Umeed, whose 4-44 against The Netherlands was the top bowling performance in 2008.
Denmark will bring a squad with considerable international experience at both Under 13 and Under 15 levels. Captain Hassan Anwar will have five members of the 2008 Under 15 squad at his disposal. Fazar Ahmed produced one of the outstanding bowling performances of last year's championship, taking 4 for 17 against Jersey, and he will be a key player as Denmark aims to improve on the disappointment of fifth place in 2008.
Ireland will be hoping to return to winning ways under the captaincy of Ben Wylie, from the Instonians club in Belfast. However their squad, apart from Wylie, has no previous experience at European Under 15 level and it will be interesting to see how they perform.
Jersey captain Andrew Cooke played in 2008 along with Charlie Fricker and Oliver Johnson. Wicketkeeper batsman Tom Sutton, a pupil at Uppingham School, was one of the top performers at the 2008 Arabian Challenge Festival in Sussex. With the experience of having played English county opposition at various tournaments in recent seasons, Jersey will be hoping to mount a serious challenge for the title.
For The Netherlands, Rahil Ahmed, Joest Kroesen and opening bowler Matthaus Presnan are survivors from the side which just pipped Guernsey by 5 runs to take third place last year. Captain Victor Lubbers will be expected his side at least to equal that finishing posiiton this time in Dundee.
Having come within just 6 runs of third place last time, Guernsey will be hoping to go at least one better. Captain Josh Kirk attended the ICC Europe Cricket Centre of Excellence in La Manga last winter and has already played for Sussex Under 14s this season. Seam bowler Dane Mullen was the island's leading wicket taket in last year's tournament while Ollie Nightingale has appeared for Guernsey at Under 17 level. With four other members of the squad returning from last year, Guernsey will be expecting great things in Scotland.