Women's World Cup qualifier gets underway
The Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands women's teams will participate in the ICC European Championship ahead of next year's World Cup. All games will be played at Deventer this week and in addition the ECB Development XI will defend the title they won in Cardiff in 2005.
All three countries are scheduled to play in the World Cup qualifier in Pakistan in November. While Ireland have qualified, Scotland and Netherlands need wins in Deventer to determine their seeding. The match between Ireland and Netherlands on August 17 has been granted official ODI status.
Ireland, traditionally the strongest of the three teams, will rely on experience. Seven of their side played in the 2005 Women's World Cup and three have been part of previous European championships, but younger players such as Jill Whelan and Jillian Smythe, who featured in the 2006 ICC European Under-21 tournament, have also been included. The batting will be bolstered by the likes of Isobel and Cecelia Joyce, Ed's twin sisters, Clare Shillington and Nicola Coffey.
Netherlands are a side with a good balance of experience and youth. Batsman Maartje Koester and spinner Annemarie Tanke have plenty of European Championship practice and opening batsman Caroline de Groot and allrounders Lotte Egging, Mandy Kornet and Marijn Nijman, played in the U-21 championships last year. Helmien Rambaldo, who played in South Africa for several seasons, leads the side.
Scotland have the youngest squad - no fewer than five players sixteen or younger - but are led by Kari Anderson, who has played international cricket since 2001 as well as three seasons with Durham. Kathryn White is another senior with over six years' experience.
England include two players who took part in the 2005 European championship, captain Jenny Halstead and Dawn Prestidge - both of Cheshire - but with places in the World Cup squad up for grabs, the younger players will need to impress.