Spain hosts the European Indoor Championships

Arguably Spain's biggest ever cricket event, the 2000 European Indoor Cricket Championships, gets underway this Friday in the Costa Blanca towns of J vea and Benissa.

The 10 nation tournament has received a late boost with the addition of continental cricket's giants, Denmark and the Netherlands.

They replace Belgium and France.

This will be the first time a long term ICC Associate member has entered the competition, joining the host Spain, recently newly promoted Associate members, Germany and Italy, and as well as Affiliate members, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

Participating countries have been asked to enter into the spirit of the event by choosing only players who learnt their cricket in that country.

The event is being organised by the Asociacion Espa ola de Cricket (AEC) in association with the European Cricket Council (ECC).

The AEC is proud of the totally indigenous nature of its team.

Defending its title will be Portugal, which beat Austria in last year's final in Mechelen, Belgium.

AEC official, Ken Sainsbury, said local media organisations had signalled their intention to cover the event, while national media outlets had shown interest.

The International Cricket Council had also commissioned Trans World International to tape parts of the tournament for transmission during its 'Cricket Week'.

Group ASaturdayJAVEA0830 - 0935 Portugal v Spain0945 - 1050 Denmark v Switzerland1100 - 1205 Germany v Portugal1215 - 1320 Spain v Denmark1330 - 1435 Switzerland v GermanyBENISSA1515 - 1620 Portugal v Denmark1630 - 1735 Spain v Switzerland1745 - 1850 Germany v Denmark1900 - 2005 Portugal v Switzerland
Group B AUSTRIA - SWEDEN - GREECE - NETHERLANDS - ITALY Saturday BENISSA 0900 - 1005 Austria v Sweden 1015 - 1120 Greece v Netherlands 1130 - 1235 Italy v Austria 1245 - 1350 Sweden v Greece 1400 - 1505 Netherlands v Italy JAVEA 1445 - 1550 Austria v Greece 1600 - 1705 Sweden v Netherlands 1715 - 1820 Italy v Greece 1830 - 1935 Austria v Netherlands

Sunday JAVEA 0900 - 1005 Spain v Germany 1015 - 1120 Sweden v Italy 1140 - 1245 Group A Winner v Group B Runner-up 1255 - 1400 Group B Winner v Group A Runner-up 1420 - 1525 Third & Fourth Place Play-off 1545 - 1650 Final