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The Hellenic Cricket Federation (HCF), cricket’s governing body in Greece, is to invite Pakistan for a new Twenty20 international cricket festival. The event, which features teams from across the non-Test playing world, will be held in May, June, September and October 2010 in Corfu and the nearby Ionian islands.
“We aim to celebrate the spirit and diversity of cricket by bringing together cricketers across continents, countries and communities,” Nikitas Iosif, the HCF president, told PA.
Pakistan, the Twenty20 World Champions, will be star attractions, though established players will be missing on full international duty.
Cricket was introduced in Corfu in April 1823 when a match was played between the British Navy and the Garrison. The HCF was founded in 1996 when Greece became member of the European Cricket Council and affiliate member of the ICC.
There are now 21 cricket clubs in Greece, 13 of which are based in Corfu. As the standard of cricket has improved, Corfu has become more popular with club sides touring from England and Iosif sees the HCF as pivotal to cricket in the region.
“We have supported, promoted and developed the sport and there is now a lively and active domestic championship within the country. Our national team compete regularly in Europe and is amongst the best teams.”
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Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.