Norfolk club to lead historic English challenge in European Cricket League
PUBLISHED: 10:32 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 24 January 2020
Norfolk cricket giants Swardeston will make history this summer when they become the first English champions to compete in the European Cricket League.
Swardeston will take on the best club sides from 15 other European countries in the T10 tournament at La Manga, in Spain from May 31 to June 7.
The village's club's participation has the backing of the ECB, the East Anglian Premier League and Frinton CC who have agreed to switch the schedule EAPL fixture, which was due to be played on June 6.
Swardeston has proved themselves as a major national force on the 'local cricket' scene - last year they won the domestic double.
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Club chairman Stuart Bartram said: "2019 was an incredible season for our club. Over the last 10 years we have achieved a great record in the ECB's national competitions. We are thrilled to be invited to take our chance on the international stage and meet the best of Europe at ECL20.
"We would like to thank Dan Weston and his team at the ECL for this invite, Paul Bedford and Aaron Campbell at the ECB for their backing, David Browne and Andy Abbott and the management committee at the EAPL for their support and of course the guys at Frinton who agreed to switch the fixture.
"We are also grateful to the Norfolk Cricket Alliance management committee for their support in moving our second XI fixture on June 6. All are 100pc behind us in our bid for European glory."
"ECB are delighted that Swardeston Cricket Club from the East Anglian Premier League have been invited to participate in the expanded European Cricket League for 2020," said Paul Bedford, ECB National Participation Manager Leagues & Competitions. "Swardeston have enjoyed recent success in ECB National Club competitions in both 40 overs and T20 formats of the game. We will watch with fascination to see how they get on."
"From my interactions with Stuart and his club members at Swardeston Cricket Club, they have an incredible love, passion and dedication to the game, its history and its spirit, which is exactly what drives the concept of the European Cricket League," said Daniel Weston, founder of the European Cricket League.
"As the ECL is the Champions League of European cricket, Swardeston have an incredible opportunity to make their country proud, stake their claim as Europe's strongest cricket club, and strive to achieve the feat of being T20 domestic league champions and then becoming the Kings of European cricket by winning the ECL."