"Dynamic" Jersey set for T20 World Cup qualifier in Scotland

"Dynamic" Jersey set for T20 World Cup qualifier in Scotland
Jersey beat rivals Guernsey 2-0 in the recent T20 Inter-Insular series - photo credit Mark Tribe 

Since former Scotland assistant coach Neil MacRae first took charge of Jersey nearly a decade ago, he's led the island's cricketers into international tournaments across the globe. South Africa, Singapore, Los Angeles, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Uganda. There are more than a few stamps in the passport.

Wins over the likes of USA, Oman and Kenya along the way will be treasured memories. But as MacRae heads back north of the border to Scotland this week, he'll be hoping his troops can top the lot and give Jersey cricket its greatest moment, by earning a place at next summer's ICC T20 World Cup.

Jersey, ranked 21st in the world in the short format, head into this week's European qualifier remarkably within touching distance of joining the likes of England, Australia and India at next year's tournament in the West Indies and America.

The islanders are the third-highest rated team competing in Edinburgh, with the top two from the seven-team round-robin event set to make it through to the biggest stage of them all. Ireland and Scotland, ranked 12th and 14th respectively, join Jersey at the qualifying event alongside Germany (31st), Italy (35th), Denmark (39th) and MacRae's former side Austria (45th).

Jersey's fixtures (click to expand)

Thursday 20 July: Austria, Friday 21 July: Scotland, Sunday 23 July: Italy, Monday 24 July: Ireland, Tuesday 25 July: Germany, Friday 28 July: Denmark

The 15-man Jersey squad is skippered again by Chuggy Perchard, and includes Asa Tribe as wicketkeeper alongside a string of fellow youngsters including Charlie Brennan and Toby Britton.

MacRae said: "We're looking forward to competing at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Scotland. We have a young, dynamic squad which has gained considerable T20 experience in recent years.

"Preparations have gone well with good wins against Kent and Guernsey and the players are now ready to get into tournament action this week."

The ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 in West Indies and USA will boast 20 teams for the first time with 12 sides having already secured their place.

The results against Kent, and the 2-0 win over Guernsey in the T20 Inter-Insular, were backed up on Monday by a drawn 1-1 series with Netherlands A in Amsterdam.

In the first of those two warm-up games, the island side were dismissed for a little over 100, with Netherlands A chasing down the target with ease for the loss of just four wickets. An impressive win in the second fixture, though, sends Jersey into this tournament on a high. Asa Tribe's half century (52) and Josh Lawrenson's quick-fire 47 helped MacRae's men reach their target of 161 inside 18 overs.

Less than three months ago, Jersey Reds celebrated what many regard as the greatest team sport achievement in the island's history - winning rugby's Championship, the second tier of professional English rugby. If Jersey's cricketers can finish in the top two this coming week, a subsequent appearance at the T20 World Cup alongside the best international players on the planet would likely top the Reds' triumph.

They'll need to play well to get there. Really well. Game after game. Just one upset against Ireland or Scotland might be enough to seal a spot, though. It's not unthinkable...

Jersey squad: Chuggy Perchard (c), Dom Blampied, Charlie Brennan, Toby Britton, Harrison Carlyon, Nick Greenwood, Jonty Jenner, Josh Lawrenson, Elliot Miles, Rhys Palmer, Will Perchard, Julius Sumerauer, Asa Tribe (wk), Zak Tribe, Ben Ward.