Players and supporters of Forfarshire are flying to Spain on Wednesday, as the Broughty Ferry team prepare to represent Scotland in the men’s European Cricket League 2023.
A squad of thirteen players – along with fifty travelling fans – are heading to the Costa Del Sol, as the club cash in their reward for some spectacular domestic cup success in 2022.
Forfarshire are in Group D which gets underway on Thursday, and they have their sights set on success over three days of action so that they can return for Championship Week between March 20 and 24. They will face Brno from Czechia, Dreux from France, Helsinki Titans from Finland and Vienna CC from Austria.
Groups A and B in the 2023 event have already been played at the Cartama Oval in Cartama in the hills west of Malaga, with Group C currently ongoing.
After winning the T20 Scottish Cup in 2019, the Forfs were due to be in the exciting T10 event in 2020, but the pandemic scuppered that trip.
As a result, Carlton – who lifted the T20 Scottish Cup in 2021 – became the first Scottish side to take part in the competition last year.
The Edinburgh side had a brilliant few days in Group C action only to lose the Group final to Brescia CC from Italy. That meant that they did not progress to Championship Week and, in the end, Badalona CC from Spain were crowned overall champions.
Jack Hogarth coaches Forfarshire along with Callum Garden, with both set to play in Spain. Hogarth said: “We are really looking forward to this event.
“It is a big thing for a community club like Forfarshire to be representing Scotland in Europe and all of the players selected are buzzing for it.
“A lot of us were hopeful of going to Spain in 2020, but that was postponed for obvious reasons and then Carlton defeated us in the final of the T20 Scottish Cup in 2021 when cricket returned.
“Thankfully we won that event and the Scottish Cup last summer and ever since then, we have been building for this tournament.
“While we might not know too much our opponents, what we do know is that in T10 cricket anything can happen and we will not be taking any game lightly.
“That was evident last year when Carlton played so well in a number of games and then were beaten in their Group final.
“Often we play against the same teams and the same players back home, so for us it will be good to test our skills against new faces.
“And it is a great occasion for the supporters because many of them have been involved with the club for a long time, so to see the Forfs playing in the sun at a big event is a fitting reward for them.”
Scott Cameron captains Forfarshire, while players like Hogarth, Garden, Aman Bailwal and others will look to shine.
The two players who may well lead the way in this type of format are hard-hitting Scotland duo Michael Leask and Craig Wallace.
“Leasky is coming into this off the back of his first ODI hundred for Scotland in Nepal, while everyone knows how destructive a batter Wally can be if he gets going, so, yes, we hope to see some fireworks from them,” said Hogarth, who has experience of playing at the venue for a Scotland XI in the European Cricket Championship late last year.
“However, we know that if we are to win games in such a short format it won’t be down to individuals, but it’ll be a team effort and everyone is ready to play their part.”
Forfarshire will play two Group D matches on each of Thursday and Friday and then have Finals Day on Saturday.
Matches will be shown live via the European Cricket Network YouTube channel and scorecards and more information can be found here ecn.cricket/european-cricket-league
Forfarshire squad heading to Spain: Bryce Allchin, Aman Bailwal, Scott Cameron (C), Glenn Carnegie, Fergus Duncan, Callum Garden (WK), Jack Hogarth, Lewis James, Michael Leask, Jack O’Neill, Fraser Ross, James Sim, Craig Wallace (V-C).