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Euro Championship games in Dublin

Irish Cricket chief executive Warren Deutrom
Warren Deutrom says the tournament is important for Ireland

All fixtures in the ICC European Division 1 Championship in Ireland in late July will be played in the greater Dublin area.

The 50 over round robin tournament will see Europe's top six associate and affiliate countries in action.

The hosts and defending champions will be joined by Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Scotland.

Ireland face Norway in the competition opener at The Hills on 25 July and the tournament continues to 31 July.

Six cricket grounds will be used to host a total of fifteen matches.

ICC Affiliate Member Norway gained promotion to Division 1 after finishing top of Division 2 in 2006, overcoming second place Gibraltar, and other associate members including France and Israel.

The other opening matches will see Denmark face Scotland at Malahide CC and Italy take on the Netherlands at North County CC.

Irish Cricket Union Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said that retaining the title would be "a hugely important goal for Ireland".

"Although last year's World Cup success gave us an exciting glimpse of the world beyond, we still consciously compare ourselves to our European neighbours," said Deutrom.

606: DEBATE

"If nothing else, the fierce competition among traditional rivals makes for highly competitive cricket which, in turn, helps raise the bar for European cricket."

ICC European Development Manager Richard Holdsworth, who will act as tournament director, expects the competition to produce some fine cricket.

"This is Europe's showpiece event in the tournament calendar and with the region containing three one day international teams, there will be three ODI's as part of the event," said the ICC official.

"It will be a tough challenge for the likes of Norway and Italy to compete against these highly world ranked countries, but is what the ICC Development Program is all about."

Holdsworth backed Ireland to stage a successful tournament.

"They have become experts in hosting such events, and their facilities improve each year, which the participating countries will benefit from."

Ireland will go on to host the ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier at Stormont in August 2008.

Two finalists from the participating nations Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Scotland will qualify for the second ICC Twenty20 World Cup in England in 2009.


ICC European Division 1 Championship schedule

Friday 25 July 2008

Ireland v Norway, The Hills CC

Scotland v Denmark, Malahide CC

Netherlands v Italy, North County CC

Saturday 26 July 2008

Ireland v Denmark, Leinster CC

Scotland v Italy, The Hills CC

Netherlands v Norway, North County CC

Monday 28 July

Ireland v Netherlands, Clontarf CC

Scotland v Norway, Leinster CC

Denmark v Italy, Merrion CC

Tuesday 29 July

Scotland v Netherlands, Clontarf CC

Ireland v Italy, Malahide CC

Denmark v Norway, North County CC

Thursday 31 July

Ireland v Scotland, Clontarf CC

Netherlands v Denmark, The Hills CC

Norway v Italy, Malahide CC




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