Credit: Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash
The European Cricket League (ECL) is shaping up to be one of 2021’s most exciting sporting events.
With many teams taking part, any cricket fans will want to follow the live scores when the competition runs from 31st May to 25th June 2021 in Spain, with the help of Sportsadda.com.
But what is the ECL and who is taking part next year? Let’s explore the event’s history and see who will be doing battle at the crease when the tournament lands next summer.
Who is behind the ECL?
The tournament was founded by German cricket player Daniel Weston alongside media and advertising experts Roger Feiner, Frank Leenders and Thomas Klooz. It has been hailed as a cricketing equivalent of the UEFA Champions League with the aim of celebrating grassroots cricket across Europe.
The first ECL tournament
The ECL was founded in 2018 and officially launched to much fanfare within the sporting world in 2019.
The first tournament was held in Spain at the La Manga Club and saw champion teams from Dreux (France), Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Svanholm (Denmark), Bremen (Germany), St. Petersburg (Russia), Brescia (Italy) and Cluj (Romania) all battling it out to be crowned as the first cricketing kings of Europe. The contest adopted the fast-paced T-10 format and saw 17 matches packed into three days.
This T-10 format sees two teams play a single innings each. This is restricted to a maximum of ten over per side, with each game lasting 90 minutes.
Who were the first winners of the ECL?
VOC Rotterdam were crowned as winners of the series after defeating SG Findorff by 101 runs. The champions posted 222 from their ten overs, the highest score of the competition. Batsman Scott Edwards finished with a record-breaking 137. Max O’Dowd was crowned player of the series, taking four wickets with a strike rate of 263.86.
Who is in the ECL 2021?
The ECL in 2021 is to build on the success of its inaugural event by expanding the number of participating teams.
Now with 15 teams taking part, the first three weeks will see five teams split across three different groups. Each will play in a double round-robin format with the top teams in each group qualifying to play on finals day. They will then have the chance to win the group and compete in the finals week.
The draw for the 2021 edition was recently hosted by ECL’s Vinny Sandhu and featured appearances from Daniel Weston and commentator Michael McCann. The chosen groups are:
Dreux (France), Minhaj / La Manga Torrevieja (Spain), Darmstadt (Germany), Brescia (Italy), Swardeston (England)
Lund (Sweden), Ostende Exiles (Belgium), HBS Crayenhout (Netherlands), Bjrvika (Norway), Forfarshire (Scotland)
Moscow Foxes (Russia), Helsinki Gymkhana (Finland), Svanholm (Denmark), Cluj (Romania), CIYMS (Ireland)
The reigning champions V.O.C. Rotterdam will automatically qualify to play in finals week running from the 21st to the 25th June.
They will be joined by a trio of group winners and the highest net run rate second place finished from the first three weeks of competition.
Why has the ECL adopted the new format?
The new format is designed to provide each club with more matches, with each club playing a minimum of eight. This is up from three in 2019 with an increase in the total number of games now rising to 96.
The 2021 event will be the last 16-team event before the ECL expands to a 30-team competition in 2022. Cricketing analysts predict that the next tournament should do wonders for putting Europe on the map thanks to the talents of the participants and the global audience it attracts.