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European Cricket League sets dates for second edition

Organisers of the European Cricket League (ECL20) have announced that the club competition will return for a second season from May 31 to June 7, 2020.

Billed as cricket’s equivalent of football’s Uefa Champions League, ECL19 debuted this summer, with the domestic champions of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia and Spain all competing at La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain, from July 29-31.

Dutch champions V.O.C. Rotterdam won the inaugural tournament, defeating Germany’s SG Findorff in the final. ECL19 gained worldwide notoriety after a unique bowling action made a star of Romanian all-rounder Pavel Florin.

Organisers said in a statement: “ECL20 promises to be even bigger and better. Due to huge interest and demand for the competition, ECL20 will expand its number of champion teams – spread over eight days of exciting fast-paced T10 action.”

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The competition launched having secured investment from former Team Marketing executives Thomas Klooz and Frank Leenders, who serve as board member and president, respectively.

Fifa’s former director of broadcasting Roger Feiner is the chief executive of the competition having been persuaded, like Leenders and Klooz, that there are untapped opportunities for cricket in continental Europe by tournament founder, Australian businessman Daniel Weston.

Today’s (Thursday’s) announcement comes after organisers of rival tournament the Euro T20 Slam, the world’s first multinational Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament, were forced to postpone its launch by a year amid reports of financial difficulties.

The announcement was made on August 14, with the inaugural tournament having been scheduled to run from August 30 to September 22 in Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.