English T20 knockout champions Swardeston will represent England & Wales at ECL20, it was announced today by the European Cricket League.
Founded in 1852, Swardeston have won a host of trophies and silverware in recent seasons and became the first team in English cricketing history to perform the domestic club double this summer.
“2019 was an incredible season for our club,” said Swardeston chairman Stuart Bartram. “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 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, it’s 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.
“It will be incredible next summer to watch the story unfold for Swardeston and witness cricket expanding in Europe like never before.”
Interestingly, Swardeston, from Norfolk, are captained by former Sussex batsman Joe Gatting, a nephew of former England test captain, Mike Gatting.
ECL20 will double its number of teams to 16 — V.O.C. Rotterdam, who won the first edition of the European Cricket League at La Manga Club in Spain, will be joined by fellow Dutch club HBS Cricket Club between May 31 and June 7, 2020. All other countries will have a single representative team.