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With just Estonia, Bulgaria and Slovenia participating in this year’s ICC European Division 3 Championship, the format will comprise of a double round-robin with each team playing each other twice.
The tournament will bring European cricket to Tallinn for the first time, with matches being played at the city’s Hipodroom ground between June 14 and 16 and a place in the ICC European Division 2 Championship at stake in Corfu in September.
Having finished second behind Sweden in last year’s Division 3 event, Estonia will be keen to confirm their position by taking the title this time. Led by Tim Heath, who made the only century of the 2011 tournament, the Estonians will have nine of that squad in their ranks, having added Remo Raud, Mario Tammoja (who joins his brother Mart in the side), Michael Tiffin and Karel van Buuren.
Slovenia, third last year and bidding to regain their position ahead of their rivals, also make four changes to their squad, with the return of Grega Bohinc and the addition of Chris Bishop, Matthew Charlesworth and Nilesh Ujawe. They will be skippered by Mark Oman, and like Estonia they will have five locally-born players in the side.
Once again Bulgaria claim the title for having the most indigenous players, who have seven locally-born players in their 12-man squad. They include 20-year-old newcomer Blagovest Itsev, one of four members of the side who did not take part in Slovenia last year; the others are Alexandar Pashov, Yasen Petrov and Matthew Stewart. Led by Saif-ur-Rehman, the Bulgarians will be looking to improve on their single victory a year ago, and to push the other two sides to the limit.
The squads for the ICC European Division 3 Championship are as follows:
Bulgaria: Saif-ur Rehman; Stuart Clarkson; Ivaylo Dunchev; Blagovest Itsev; Amal John; Ivaylo Katzarski; Prakash Mishra; Alexandar Pashov; Yasen Petrov; Matthew Stewart; Danail Trenev; Lyubomir Zanev
Estonia: Timothy Heath; Sivalingam Arunachalam; Vineeth Govind; Murali Obili; Moshiu Rahman; Remo Raud; Nand Lal Riar; Mart Tammoja; Mario Tammoja; Michael Tiffin; Marko Vaik; Karel Peter Van Buuren; Kalle Vislapuu
Slovenia: Mark Oman; Christopher Bishop; Domen Bohin; Rok Bohinc; Grega Bohinc; Robert Crawford; Matthew Charlesworth; Bradley Eve; Thomas Furness; Lalantha Karunatilake; Simon Kaucic; Primoz Pustoslemsek; Nilesh Ujawe
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