The details of the Euro T20 Slam have finally been unveiled to the public. Featuring two teams each from Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands, the tournament is a collaboration between their respective boards and those behind Canada’s Global T20 League. It will be hosted across three different cities – Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Dublin – and will get underway August 30 from the Netherlands’ VRA Cricket Ground.
Tuesday’s big reveal featured ambassadors Dilip Vengsarkar and Wasim Akram who joined various administrators in wishing the tournament well and amidst various entertainment elements of the press launch – the hour-long presentation also saw some important cricket-related details announced, with the overall structure of the tournament taking shape.
The format will be a double round-robin feeding into semi-finals and a final, and the schedule was also released; its accompanying graphics containing the logos of the teams. Rather than going for names around the franchises’ cities, ET20S appears to have gone down the route of assigning monikers borrowed from various other global leagues and locations.
33 matches will be played across a 24-day period between the 30th of August and 22nd of September. Each of VRA in Amsterdam, The Grange in Edinburgh, and Malahide in Dublin will host 10 matches over a week of cricket, with VRA starting proceedings between August 30 and September 5, followed by The Grange from September 6 to 12 before the league phase concludes at Malahide between September 13 and 19.
The host of the finals stage is yet to be announced. And while some netizens expressed disappointment that only half of the franchises will actually host any matches, it’s certainly a step forward from the GT20 where every match was played at a single ground; Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell hinted on Twitter at the “away” teams hosting next year.
The team names are Amsterdam Kings, Rotterdam Rhinos, Edinburgh Rocks, Glasgow Giants, Belfast Titans and Dublin Chiefs. Ahead of the announcement, Emerging Cricket’s sources indicated that the Irish franchises would be named with a nod to history – Dublin Vikings and Belfast Giants thought to be the frontrunners.
Six international players were announced at the ceremony. Shane Watson, Rashid Khan and Brendon McCullum were appointed as “icons” and Chris Lynn, Babar Azam and Luke Ronchi have been signed as “marquee” players, and a draft will be held at a later date. The team compositions appear to be another improvement on last year’s GT20, where despite being hosted near Toronto, there were precious few Canadian players on show.
Each franchise will have a roster of 15 players, with 6 overseas (including one place reserved for a player from an Associate nation) and 9 locals. In any given playing XI, at least 6 members must be locals. And it’s these rules that appear to have convinced the participating boards that the tournament will ultimately help their plans for development, with the opportunity for regular, high-quality cricket invaluable to honing the skills of fringe national players likely to populate the franchises.
These sentiments were echoed by players from Ireland and Netherlands on stage at the launch.
Netherlands skipper Pieter Seelar: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone in Holland, Ireland and Scotland to play cricket of the highest standard. I think that’s what we’ve all be crying out for for a number of years.”
Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien: “By playing more and more T20 (leagues) and playing against the best players in the world, other countries have risen up the ranks, so it’s a great opportunity for our three countries’ players to improve as individuals first and foremost, and also improve as a national team and try and get up those world rankings to help qualifications for World Cups.”
FULL SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES GMT)
Friday August 30: Amsterdam Kings vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (10:30); Glasgow Giants vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Saturday August 31: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Dublin Chiefs (10:30); Amsterdam Kings vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Sunday September 1: Glasgow Giants vs. Dublin Chiefs (10:30); Edinburgh Rocks vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Monday September 2: Rotterdam Rhinos vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Tuesday September 3: Amsterdam Kings vs. Edinburgh Rocks (14:30)
Wednesday September 4: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Thursday September 5: Amsterdam Kings vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
The Grange, Edinburgh
Friday September 6: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Glasgow Giants (10:30); Rotterdam Rhinos vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Saturday September 7: Amsterdam Kings vs. Dublin Chiefs (10:30); Edinburgh Rocks vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
Sunday September 8: Belfast Titans vs. Amsterdam Kings (10:30); Dublin Chiefs vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
Monday September 9: Glasgow Giants vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
Tuesday September 10: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Dublin Chiefs (14:30)
Wednesday September 11: Dublin Chiefs vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
Thursday September 12: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Glasgow Giants (14:30)
Friday September 13: Dublin Chiefs vs. Belfast Titans (10:30); Glasgow Giants vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (14:30)
Saturday September 14: Amsterdam Kings vs. Edinburgh Rocks (10:30); Dublin Chiefs vs. Glasgow Giants (14:30)
Sunday September 15: Edinburgh Rocks vs. Rotterdam Rhinos (10:30); Amsterdam Kings vs. Glasgow Giants (14:30)
Monday September 16: Belfast Titans vs. Glasgow Giants (14:30)
Tuesday September 17: Dublin Chiefs vs. Amsterdam Kings (14:30)
Wednesday September 18: Amsterdam Kings vs. Glasgow Giants (14:30)
Thursday September 19: Dublin Chiefs vs. Belfast Titans (14:30)
Knockout Stage (venue TBA)
Saturday September 21: Semi-finals (10:30 & 14:30)
Sunday September 22: Final (14:30)