A busy time for Associates
The leading Associates’ itineraries for the first six months of 2010 have been announced by the ICC, and once again they show the difficulty faced by the boards to secure fixtures against Full Members.
Canada They arrive in Sri Lanka next week for almost three weeks of preparations ahead of the ICC World Cup Twenty20 Qualifier, and their time there includes a short Twenty20 series involving Afghanistan and Ireland. After the T20 Qualifiers they remain in the UAE where they again meet Afghanistan, this time in two ODIs, followed by an Intercontinental Cup tie.
They are scheduled to be in Jamaica on early April to play an ODI and T20 game against West Indies. In May, they take part in the Americas Division One competition in Bermuda.
As with all sides in the T20 Qualifiers, if they make it through to the main tournament they will be in the USA at a training camp from April 18 to 23 with the event in the Caribbean following on.
Like Canada, they kick off in Sri Lanka, albeit for a fortnight, during which time they play Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup before heading to the UAE for the T20 Qualifiers. In early April they too will be in Jamaica, playing a four-dayer against the national side and then one ODI and three Twenty20s against West Indies.
When they return to home they have an ODI against Australia in Belfast on June 17 but will not be involved in any of English cricket’s domestic competitions after opting not to accept the ECB’s invitation.
While the main tournament is the T20 Qualifiers, there are two Intercontinental Cup matches against Scotland (January 25-28) and Netherlands (February 20-23).
The Scotland match is followed by a Twenty20 tri-series between the two and Uganda, while the Netherlands game is followed by two ODIs.
The Dutch have opted to prepare for the T20 Qualifiers in India, travelling to Kenya after the competition (see above). From April 15 they have a busy itinerary with matches in England’s new 40-over competition, their invitation coming as a result of the Irish’s absence.
On June 10 they host Scotland in the Intercontinental Cup and then play them in a one-off ODI.
The Intercontinental Cup game in Nairobi is preceded by a few days in Kenya and then the T20 tri-series also involving Uganda.
They too are in the English 40-over competition before meeting Netherlands in the Intercontinental Cup. A one-off ODI against England takes place in Edinburgh on June 19.
After time a busy time in Sri Lanka (see above) where they will also play Sri Lanka A in T20 and limited-overs matches, they meet Canada in two ODIs and an Intercontinental Cup game in Dubai after the T20 Qualifiers. After that, at present they have nothing else arranged.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa