Published December 14th, 2020
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided that two of the summer 2021 World Cup qualifying groups (ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub-Regional Europe Qualifier) will be played in Finland. The cities of Kerava and Vantaa will host the event together. Finland, with the support of their home crowd, is aiming to reach the European regional World Cup qualifying final. In addition to Finland, the group will host teams from Gibraltar, Guernsey, Greece, Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden, and Hungary.
Hosting cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup regional qualifiers is the ultimate honour for all at Cricket Finland. T20 is one of three official match formats approved by the ICC. One T20 game lasts about three hours.
The Championship qualifiers begin immediately after Midsummer, with the matches from Kerava and Vantaa followed by millions of spectators next summer
Kerava and Vantaa are delighted with the World Cup Qualifiers news. Both Cities had already been chosen to host one of the three Qualifiers scheduled for this summer, but this was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the ICC postponing all tournaments from 2020, the summer of 2021 European regional qualifiers will, in addition to Kerava and Vantaa, now only be played in Belgium. The European finals will be played in Spain in October 2021. The World Cup Finals (ICC T20 World Cup) will be played in Australia in October-November2022. A total of 81 countries are fighting for the final 15 places there.
Finland will play in Regional Qualifying Group B, which will be played from 30th June to 5th July 2021. While Regional Qualifying Group A will be played from 8th to 13th July 2021, with Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, and Spain drawn in this group.
The National Cricket Ground was opened in Kerava in 2011. In addition to the Finnish league games of various forms of cricket, Kerava has played several T20 international matches.
– Kerava has been the hub of Finnish cricket for years, the leading city for new ideas. Our city’s cricket ground is the only venue in Finland built specifically for cricket and we have had the pleasure of being involved from the very beginning in bringing the sport to our country. It is great that Kerava has been chosen as a host city for the sport’s World Cup Qualifiers. For the Finnish team, this will finally give the opportunity to play on their home turf, hopefully triumphantly. The competition and competitors are warmly welcome in our city, says Kirsi Rontu, Mayor of Kerava.
The artificial wicket at the TRIO Sports Park, which enables international games in Vantaa, was completed in 2018 when the city hosted the Finnish Multisport Championship Week (SM-viikko) for the first time. The Vantaa ground, which has since been used actively by clubs and the national team, has made a significant contribution to the organisation of a continuously increasing volume of matches.
– I warmly welcome the players of the Cricket World Cup Qualifying groups to Vantaa. Getting the qualifiers for the T20 Cricket World Cup in Vantaa is a huge honour, not only for Finnish cricket, but also for the City of Vantaa. What specifically want to be a host city for diverse events. I believe that such slightly less common sports (..in Finland!) are of interest not only to those who actively follow the sport, says Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa.
Finland is ready for the challenge
– The Finnish Olympic Committee considers it important that Finland should continue to develop the organisational expertise of hosting major sporting events. International competitions in Finland enrich the Finnish sports culture, so it is excellent that such internationally major sports as cricket should hold a World Cup qualifying tournament in Finland, says Mika Lehtimäki, Director of the Finnish Olympic Committee High Performance Unit.
– Finnish cricket has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks to the significant contributions from Kerava and Vantaa. Next summer’s World Cup Qualifiers will be a major opportunity for the Finnish national cricket team, the Finnish Bears, but also for us as an Association, as it is exceptional for one country to have two qualifying groups to host. Finland’s reputation as an organiser of elite level sporting events has impressed the International Cricket Council, Andrew Armitage, Chair of Cricket Finland, who has actively promoted hosting with the ICC, is delighted to announce.
– All the games will be streamed globally by the ICC. Next summer Finns will literally be offered front-row seats for top quality cricket matches, says Armitage.
More info on:
Andrew Armitage, Chair, Finnish Cricket Association, tel. 050-323 7099
Maija Scamans, Operations Director, Finnish Cricket Association, tel. 050-571 9578
Maija Hyötyläinen, Communications Officer, Finnish Cricket Association, tel. 050-572 9679