In a momentous year for European Cricket, European Cricket Network has LIVE broadcast cricket from all across the continent with over 700 matches in 20 countries in 2020.
From humble beginnings at the very first European Cricket Series in March - the Dream11 European Cricket Series Alicante - to our last event in Malta in December, it has been an historic year for European Cricket.
We say a MASSIVE thankyou to our partners and suppliers, especially Spring Media, Dream11, FanCode, Sportz Interactive, Loka Lifestyle, BizAway, Kookaburra, Sportsevision and Favre-Leuba.
Working closely in tandem with industrious local organising committees (LOC) in the federations, 40 tournaments were staged, live broadcasting over 700 matches and changing the cricketing landscape in Europe forever - all amid the often tragic and most uncertain backdrop of a global pandemic.
Given its natural advantage with the weather and burgeoning cricketing community, Spain was always likely to be a popular location. Before COVID-19 came calling, ECS Alicante kicked us off in early Spring for our inaugural event. A five-week fiesta of cricket followed in Barcelona in October and November with four fantastic events hosted at the impressive Montjuic Cricket Ground, adjacent to the marvellous 1992 Olympic venue.
Ultimately, big city events were staged in Barcelona, Vienna, Helsinki, Prague, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Budapest, Bucharest and Rome to name but a few, while we were also part of history, broadcasting the first cricket possible (post-COVID19) from the British Isles, bringing you action from Guernsey at the end of May.
As COVID-19 took hold, it was early June before it was safe to head to Finland for the Finnish Premier League and Finnish Ten10 League. We later returned to Finland for a European Cricket Series Helsinki event in August.
A summer stretch in Scandinavia ensued with four tournaments in Sweden for the Dream11 European Cricket Series Gothenburg, Stockholm (x2) and Malmo. Certainly, something for new Sweden head coach and cricketing legend Jonty Rhodes to get his teeth stuck into!
Top production and good quality cricket were guaranteed in June at the European Cricket Series St. Gallen in Switzerland, while Belgium, Cyprus and Estonia all provided lively T10 entertainment this summer.
We enjoyed five exciting weekends in the Czech Republic for the ECN Czech Super Series, culminating in a fantastic Championship weekend in mid-July. We returned to the Czech capital for the European Cricket Series Prague in October.
In fact, Eastern Europe didn’t go short this summer with Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania all proving popular destinations with a lively cricketing community.
We headed to the warmer climes of Cartaxo in Portugal, and also witnessed some high-quality cricket in the Netherlands at the European Cricket Series Capelle.
Germany, an emerging nation in the cricketing world, came to the forefront this summer as well with week-long tournaments in the financial capital Frankfurt, Dresden and Kummerfeld, plus weekend events in Hannover and Frankfurt.
Of course, Italy can normally rely on pleasant weather, so we were able to enjoy two entertaining seven-day competitions in the capital Rome, while also live streaming Cricket Italia’s T20 Finals weekend.
Away from the men’s action, we took great pride in live broadcasting the Women’s T20 international Series between Austria and Germany where a host of international records were broken. We enjoyed men’s action at the same picturesque venue on two weekends in July and August, sandwiched between the European Cricket Series Vienna.
An entirely new product for cricket in continental Europe has been created and flourished despite the crisis. The European Cricket Series has highlighted the outstanding potential for club cricket in Europe and confirmed that – when well-produced and presented - a substantial demand exists.
Europe will soon leave COVID-19 behind - vaccine permitting – and the European Cricket Network, after a challenging yet unforgettable year, will continue to prosper and bring European cricket to a global audience.
No question, a horrible pandemic has left behind a truly positive legacy for the game we love.