ICC European Twenty20 Challenge May 17, 2007

Inaugural European Twenty20 tournament cancelled

Cricinfo staff

The inaugural ICC European Twenty20 Challenge competition has been cancelled because three of the countries due to take part have announced they are playing ODIs in Belfast at the same time.

Europe's four ICC Associate Member High-Performance countries - Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands and Denmark - were set to compete in the championship, which was a new addition to the European tournament program for 2007. But Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands have taken on other commitments and that made the tournament impractical.

Richard Holdsworth, the ICC's regional development manager for Europe, said: "The recent announcement of an ODI series between India and South Africa in Belfast is fantastic news for the further promotion of the game in Ireland. It will provide additional world class cricket for the many followers in Ireland, but most importantly both of these ICC Full Members have agreed to play against Ireland.

"With additional ODIs soon to be announced for Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands against some Full Members, this exposure and experience is more important at this stage than Twenty20 cricket."

There was no chance of rearranging the event and so the ICC Europe was left with no choice but to cancel it. A spokesman said that it would "review the tournament schedule with a possibility of the competition being held in 2008 or 2009".

Holdsworth added: "We are deeply sorry to any supporters who may have already made arrangements to attend the Twenty20 event in Belfast, but hope they are able to reschedule plans and perhaps support their countries in key ODIs later in the summer."