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ICC Intercontinental Cup

Bermuda and Holland host Intercontinental Cup matches

First-class cricket travels to Bermuda and Holland tomorrow, as the two nations host the next round of ICC Intercontinental Cup 2004 matches.

First-class cricket travels to Bermuda and Holland tomorrow, as the two nations host the next round of ICC Intercontinental Cup 2004 matches.
Bermuda will play the United States of America (USA) in the Americas qualifying group, while Holland takes on Ireland in the European section.
The matches mark the opening games in the competition for Bermuda and Ireland, with the USA and Holland having each already played one game in their respective regional qualifying groups.
Speaking ahead of Ireland's debut in the tournament, all-rounder Kyle McCallan said his team was ready for the challenges offered by the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
"The Irish team is looking forward to our first match in the ICC Intercontinental Cup," said McCallan.
"It will be a test for us as we have not played a lot of three-day cricket over the past few seasons, but the chance to compete against High Performance countries like Holland and Scotland will ensure that we rise to the challenge.
"Our recent victories against Surrey and the West Indies, have put the team in high spirit and ready for the next few days."
Bermuda captain Clay Smith said his team had prepared well for its game against the USA, a side which has qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy this September.
"We are very excited to be a part of the ICC Intercontinental Cup," said Smith.
"This competition will give our players experience in a first-class match for the first time in their careers, and we are looking forward to giving a good account of ourselves."
The ICC Intercontinental Cup is a new tournament for ICC Associate Member countries, and sees the introduction of a first-class competition for countries below Test match level.
With innovative playing conditions including a points system specifically created for the event, the ICC Intercontinental Cup gives players the chance to develop their skills in the longer version of the game, and assist in the progression to the next level of competition.
Teams receive 14 points for a win plus any bonus points accumulated, while teams that draw or lose a match receive only their bonus points. Only in the event of a tie will teams pick up seven additional points.
Bonus points can be accumulated in both innings with a maximum of six batting points per innings awarded on the basis of 0.5 points for every 25 runs scored up to 300 runs. A maximum of five bowling points are available per innings allocated at 0.5 points per wicket taken.
To encourage teams to play for a result, the first innings of each side is restricted to 90 overs unless the team batting first does not use its 90 overs in which case the team batting second can bat for its 90 overs plus the overs short of 90 not used by the team batting first.
A minimum of 105 overs must be bowled on the opening two days of the match.
The top-ranked team from the matches played in the four regions will progress to the semi-finals and finals in the United Arab Emirates in November.
Nepal (42 points), Uganda (32), Scotland (17.5) and Canada (30.5) currently lead their respective regions - Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The ICC Intercontinental Cup is part of the High Performance arm of the ICC's Development Program launched in 1997 to develop cricket as a global sport.
Since its inception, the Development Program has helped the number of ICC members increase by over 40 in the past seven years. The ICC now has 89 member countries; 10 Full, 27 Associate and 52 Affiliate members.
The remaining schedule for the ICC Intercontinental Cup is:
Date            Match                  Venue
13 to 15 July   Bermuda v USA          Bermuda
13 to 15 July   Holland v Ireland      Holland
23 to 25 July   Uganda v Kenya         Kampala
6 to 8 August   Ireland v Scotland     Ireland
13 to 15 August Canada v Bermuda       Toronto, Canada
13 to 15 August Malaysia v UAE         Kuala Lumpur
1 to 3 October  Kenya v Namibia        Nairobi
16-23 November  Semi-Finals and Finals UAE
For more information on the ICC Intercontinental Cup, including scorecards, averages and points tables, visit the ICC's new website at www.icc-cricket.com.