Jade Dernbach has been named in Italy’s squad for the upcoming European regional qualifiers for the 2022 T20 World Cup. Dernbach ends a seven-year absence from international cricket, last playing for England at the 2014 T20 World Cup.
The former England fast-bowler has Italian heritage on his mother’s side and joins the Italian squad following a barren period in English Country cricket. Dernbach has made only five first-team appearances across the past two years. His most was recent a one-off appearance for London Spirit in The Hundred. No longer under contract at Surrey, the 35-year-old is searching for new playing opportunities.
The 14-man squad will be led by player-coach and Northamptonshire all-rounder Gareth Berg and features several high-profile names besides Jade Dernbach. Kent all-rounder Grant Stewart takes his first call up for the Azzurri. Stewart most recently appeared in Kent’s T20 Blast winning side. Like Dernbach, Stewart qualifies for the Azzuri through Italian parentage.
Also included in the squad are Jamie Grassi and Nikolai Smith who ply their trade in Irish provincial cricket. Dublin-born Grassi played for Ireland at the 2018 U19 World Cup, and has since played for Leinster Lightning and Munster Reds. Northern Knights’ Nikolai Smith will make his T20I debut. Smith last played for Italy in the Challenge League in Oman in 2019, making a century on debut.
Other key names in the Italian squad include stalwart opening-batter Joy Perera and seamer Baljith Singh.
Italy follow Germany as the 2nd team to announce their squad, with the German squad also featuring several current and former county cricketers. Leicestershire’s left arm seamer Dieter Klein returns to the German squad. Former Somerset and Glamorgan all-rounder Craig Meschede returns from retirement. Meschede had retired in 2019 after suffering a shoulder injury.
The qualifiers will take place between 15th and 21st October at Desert Springs, Spain, and will feature Italy, Germany, Jersey, and Denmark.
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