Vinny Sandhu, also known as “Mr Maximooooo” considers the European Cricket League qualification quandaries for ECL21.

European Cricket League - NAVIGATING THE ROAD TO ECL21 - Part One: The Scenarios

With COVID-19 forcing the abandonment of the 2020 European Cricket League, ECL founder Daniel Weston revealed exclusively on European Cricket Studio Live with Michael McCann, specific tournament information, along with recommended guidelines for participating countries to follow to determine their representative clubs at ECL21.

The second edition of the European Cricket League - ECL21 - will run for eight days, beginning on Sunday 30 May, and concluding Sunday 6 June 2021. The tournament will once again take place at La Manga Club & Resort, on the south coast of Spain. There will be 16 European clubs taking part, consisting of the reigning champions, V.O.C. Rotterdam, along with a champion club from each of the 15 affiliated countries.

This is where things get a little tricky, particularly in the current environment of uncertainty across the continent. With nobody sure about the prospect of a meaningful 2020 cricket season being played in the northern hemisphere, the ECL management issued recommendations for member countries covering a couple of different scenarios.

It is not surprising that if no champion can be determined this year, that the reigning champion club will retain their position as ECL21 qualifiers. However, if it is possible for federations to find a champion club in 2020, then either that club will represent the country at ECL21, or a play-off between the 2019 and 2020 champions should determine the qualifier. This is at the discretion of the country’s official organising body and could take a variety of forms.

Weston was optimistic about the direction cricket is taking on the continent. “The game’s going to grow, it’s going to be better than ever once this virus pandemic moves on,” he said during the announcement. The ECL founder acknowledged that the announcement might make some people excited and others disappointed, but Weston reaffirmed the league’s long-term commitment to growing the game across the whole of Europe.

My personal thoughts and opinion on the announcement will be revealed in Part Two of this article to be published shortly on www.ecn.cricket.