European Cricket League (ECL) has today announced the second edition of the tournament, dubbed the Champions League of European cricket, will be delayed until 2021 following a Spanish government directive to ban mass gatherings amid growing fears about the transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Forfarshire Cricket Club was set to represent Scotland at the tournament, which was scheduled to start on May 31 at La Manga Club in Spain, featuring 16 champion clubs from 15 different countries spread over eight days. Over 300 players and officials were due to travel to Spain for the event with thousands of fans also expected to attend from all over Europe.
ECL Founder Daniel Weston said: “Pending further developments related to the pandemic, we are forced to make this decision to safeguard the health and well-being of fans, players, officials, teams, media members, staff and the general public.
“Clearly, the current situation is beyond anybody’s reasonable control, forcing this sensible and swift decision to be made in the interests of public health. We are very mindful of the understandable government concerns regarding travel and public events and must play our part in keeping everyone safe and healthy.”
Clark McConnachie, President of Forfarshire CC, said: “Forfarshire Cricket Club fully understand the situation and are wholly supportive of ECL, Cricket Scotland and the decision made.
“Our players and supporters were hugely looking forward to the tournament and we hope we can take our place in next year’s event. In the meantime, cricket is obviously of little importance compared to everyone’s health and safety.”
Forfarshire Cricket Club claimed their place at the tournament after winning 2019’s Murgitroyd T20 competition in Scotland.
Speaking of proposed dates for next year, European Cricket League said via press release: “We envisage staging the next ECL from May 30-June 6, 2021. Further details on qualification for next year’s event will be determined by ECL management after consultation with each respective cricket Federation.
This year’s valued partners and suppliers for ECL20 have already expressed their continued willingness to support the European Cricket League at the next edition as we strive to take cricket in Europe to a higher level.”