England expects as Swardeston Cricket Club make history by becoming the first English champions to play in the European Cricket League.
Founded in 1852, yes 1852, Swardeston have won a host of trophies and silverware in recent seasons and became the first team in English cricketing history to perform the domestic club double last summer.
Swardeston’s serene passage to ECL20 qualification was sealed by beating Toft CC in a winner-takes-all clash at the ECB’s Vitality T20 Club Finals Day under the floodlights in Derby. Toft, in turn, had snatched a dramatic last-ball victory over Sheffield Collegiate CC en route to the showcase final. Sheffield Collegiate have famously produced England’s captains Joe Root and Michael Vaughan in the last two decades.
Swardeston also won the 2019 Royal London National Cub Championship when they beat Nantwich CC in the final played at Lords in September. Interestingly, Swardeston, from Norfolk, are captained by former Sussex and Hampshire batsman Joe Gatting, a nephew of another former England Test captain, Mike Gatting.
“2019 was an incredible season for our club,” said Swardeston chairman Stuart Bartram. "Over the last 10 years we have achieved a great record in the ECB’s national competitions. We are thrilled to be invited to take our chance on the international stage and meet the best of Europe at ECL20.”
“From my interactions with Stuart and his club members at Swardeston Cricket Club, they have an incredible love, passion and dedication to the game, it's history and its spirit, which is exactly what drives the concept of the European Cricket League,” said Daniel Weston, founder of the European Cricket League.
“As the ECL is the Champions League of European cricket, Swardeston have an incredible opportunity to make their country proud, stake their claim as Europe’s strongest cricket club, and strive to achieve the feat of being T20 domestic league champions and then becoming the Kings of European cricket by winning the ECL.
“It will be incredible next summer to watch the story unfold for Swardeston and witness cricket expanding in Europe like never before.”
The serial winners’ participation at ECL20 has been endorsed by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“ECB are delighted that Swardeston Cricket Club from the East Anglian Premier League have been invited to participate in the expanded European Cricket League for 2020,” said Paul Bedford, ECB National Participation Manager Leagues & Competitions.
“Swardeston have enjoyed recent success in ECB National Club Competitions in both 40 overs and T20 formats of the game. We will watch with fascination to see how they get on.”
V.O.C. Rotterdam from the Netherlands were crowned the Kings of European cricket when they won the first edition of the European Cricket League (ECL) in magnificent fashion this summer. Naturally, the “Kings of Europe”, V.O.C. Rotterdam will automatically return to defend their majestic trophy between May 31 and June 7, 2020 at La Manga Club in Spain.
With the addition of the confident English champions, ECL20 promises to be even bigger and better. Due to huge interest and demand for the competition, ECL20 is set to double its number of champion teams to 16 - spread over eight days of exciting fast-paced T10 action at La Manga Club.
We welcome England’s champion team Swardeston Cricket Club to the 2020 European Cricket League.