Ireland and Namibia dominate Associate dream team
Four Ireland players and three from Namibia have been chosen in an ICC Intercontinental Cup team of the tournament, ahead of the final between the two teams on Thursday.
In addition, there are two players from Kenya and one each from Canada, the UAE and Bermuda. Only Scotland and the Netherlands are not represented in the team.
"There have been some wonderful performances in the 2007-08 event and a remarkable number of close games," said Richard Done, the ICC's high performance manager. "It was also testament to the competitive nature of the tournament that we did not know who both finalists would be until the last day of the last match, between Kenya and Ireland at Nairobi Gymkhana earlier this month.
"During the tournament, the members of the selection panel between them saw all the teams in action and all are hugely knowledgeable about Associate cricket, particularly the top sides.
"It made for some interesting discussions in debating the make-up of the team and I think the time and thought that went into that process has yielded 12 guys who have all performed outstandingly well for their teams in the 2007-08 edition of the tournament." Done said.
"The idea of the ICC Intercontinental Cup is to give players from Associate teams the opportunity to play more of the longer form of the game and the four-day format has been very successful. I have noticed a lot of improvement in performances since this tournament was introduced in 2004.
"Batsmen are demonstrating better concentration and technique, bowlers are showing more patience and the fielding is also improving. It's really encouraging as we continue to close the gap between the Test sides and the top Associates.
"Although this team won't actually play any matches, I am pretty confident it could hold its own at a high level. This is a fine group of players named here."