Jersey took victory at the European qualifiers for the T20 World Cup back in June and claiming the lone qualification spot on offer at the championships for the main Qualifiers in the UAE.
They were undefeated prior to the last match of the European qualifiers and ended up relying on net run rate to qualify after a heavy loss in the final match to Germany.
Their preparation for this event saw Jersey face off against Qatar in Doha, losing the three-match series 2-0. The series despite not going in the favour of the side will no doubt prove invaluable to acclimatising to the Asian climate and pitch conditions.
In their group are hosts the UAE, Ireland, Oman, Hong King, Canada and Nigeria with their matches taking place in Abu Dhabi.
Chuggy Perchard (C), Corey Bisson, Dom Blampied, Harrison Carlyon, Jake Dunford, Nick Ferraby, Nick Greenwood, Anthony Hawkins-Kay, Elliot Miles, Rhys Palmer, Will Robertson, Jonty Jenner, Ben Stevens, Julius Sumerauer, Ben Ward
Ones to Watch:
The man they coin Jersey’s Mr Cricket will be integral to his side’s hopes of progressing, batting at three and often asked to bowl important overs Stevens can do it all. Despite not bowling every innings in the qualifiers I imagine Stevens will be asked to bowl overs in the qualifiers with his left arm off-spinners. However, it’s his worth with the bat that is so important to the Jersey side.
Hawkins-Kay was the joint leading wicket-taker at the European qualifiers and will lead the Jersey attack at the competition. The right-arm quick impressed at the event and took 4/14 against Guernsey in their opening match. In quite a young team the 29-year-old will be an important senior head amongst the side.
Jenner was the second leading run-scorer in the European contingent of the T20 world cup qualifiers. The 21-year-old highlighted the tournament with a classy 71 from 54 balls against Italy setting up a big victory for his side in the match. Batting at four his presence in the Jersey batting order is integral to their chances of qualification.
As the second-lowest ranked team in Group B, Jersey will go into the competition relatively unfancied, but carrying the underdog tag has not fazed them before – they beat Hong Kong and Nepal during the same event in 2015.
Their first group match will be the lower-ranked but well-prepared Nigeria side and a loss against the West Africans could really put Jersey’s qualification plans in jeopardy. If they are able to get through game one unscathed, they’ll then look to trump the big sides over the course of their final five round-robin T20Is.
Whilst the challenge of the UAE and Ireland may prove a task too difficult, I expect them to challenge Hong Kong and Oman who are ranked higher than the Jersey side.
My prediction for the Jersey side is fourth, with an opening win over Nigeria and an upset victory over the in-form Oman in their last group match-up.