National cricket team; Credit: Luxembourg Cricket Federation

Luxembourg’s men’s national cricket team will host an international ranking tournament against Czechia and Belgium at their Walferdange ground between 28 and 30 August 2020.

The Grand Duchy has previously hosted unofficial internationals, but this will be the first time a tournament recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be held in the country.

The national team was due to participate in the qualifying tournament for the 2022 ICC World Cup this summer, but this event had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Consequently, to ensure sufficient international cricket this year, the Luxembourg Cricket Federation has organised its own event. It will be held under official ICC rules using the T20 format, the shortest form of the game.

These internationals will be the biggest cricketing challenge of the summer. Luxembourg is currently ranked 58th in the world for T20 cricket, just behind Czechia (53rd) and ahead of Belgium (63rd).

Cricket is a non-contact sport and thus is fully socially-distanced, hence club games were able to resume in July. Nevertheless, national COVID-19-related rules mean that only players and officials can be present on the grounds, with their movements restricted to ensure adequate distancing. Supporters cannot attend.

According to the Luxembourg Cricket Federation, the 2020 club season has gone well so far. There has been a very active national league with two divisions and the two Luxembourg teams both currently top of their respective leagues in the Belgian Cricket Federation tournament.

Luxembourg national team captain Joost Mees commented: “This is an important event for our players, as we build towards the world cup qualifying tournament which we hope can be held next year. We hope that home advantage can really help us against the strong opponents”. 

Luxembourg Cricket Federation chairman Steve Evans added: “Our thanks go to the Ministry of Sport, Walferdange [municipality] and the ICC for working with us to allow this ground-breaking tournament to go ahead. This will enable our players to maintain their performance levels as we build for the future”.