Monday, 23 May 2011

Chapter 5:-Europe Division 3 (T20) Championship 2011, World Twenty20 Qualifier

After Africa, Americas and EAP it was not time for Europe to start the qualification process for 2012 ICC World T20.  6 teams Slovenia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Estonia, Bulgaria and Sweden started their journey hopefully to qualify for the highest level possible for them. Though most teams were built on Expats or people of cricket playing nation's origin like Pakistani's, Indian, English etc there were few teams which had local players. Estonia had majority local players and many local players in the host team Slovenia.
The tournament was hosted by Slovenia and Austria. No team was making a debut in the tournament as all teams had been part of Div 5 and 6 of Europe in the OD format. The favorite of the tournament were Sweden along with the Hosts Slovenia. The tournament was quite low key in the media as compared to the tournament of Africa, America and EAP where the news regularly came out in the local newspapers. Perhaps the dominance of Soccer specially the Big 4 league and Champions Trophy is too how for others sports to make little space for themselves. Hopefully in future, the weight-age of cricket news will increase outside the British Isles also.
The tournament started with Estonia making a 240+ run score against the hosts which proved a task even higher than Everest. Sweden kept the tag of favorites and did not loose even a singe game and topping the pool qualifying for Div 2. Slovenia could not take much advantage of them being hosts. After Estonia they lost to Sweden and then finished the tournament losing the last match of tournament to Czech Republic.

The table was as follows

                P   W  NR   L   Pts    NRR
Sweden          5   5   0   0    10   4.78
Estonia         5   3   0   2     6   0.19
Slovenia        5   2   0   3     4  
Czech Republic  5   2   0   3     4  
Turkey          5   2   0   3     4  
Bulgaria        5   1   0   4     2  

The final standing was as follows
Winner:- Sweden

Final Standing
1. Sweden
2. Estonia
3. Slovenia
4. Czech Republic
5. Turkey
6. Bulgaria

Sweden now moves to Div 2 where it will be joined by 11 teams (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Hellas(Greece), Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland) to be hosted by Belgium in July. The top 2 teams from this tournament will join the 10 teams in Div 1. Top 2 teams from that play the ICC World T20 Qualifier. A long way for Sweden but every long journey begins with a small step

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