February 10, 2024
The Spanish Men's National side kick off their 2024 International campaign next weekend with several T10 matches against the Czech Republic in Barcelona.
The event is sandwiched between the current ECS competition being played in the iconic Montjuic Baseball stadium and gives coach Corey Rutgers the chance to see how the players have faired over the winter months.
Spain will also be welcoming back Christian Munoz-Mills from a long term injury and the skipper could not hide his delight at being back playing cricket again. He commented "We are looking forward to start the year in Barcelona, with a ECI series against the Czech Republic. This is another important year for the Spanish National team with the ICC European qualifiers in the summer and the T10 European Cricket Championships in October at Cartama.
This tournament gives us the option to look at more Spanish talent, whilst at the same time work closely with the more established players. The Czech Republic will be a good test and should help us to prepare well for the tournaments ahead and after a year on the sidelines, I can't wait personally to get back on the field and playing again for Spain"
The newcomers the skipper alluded to are two debutants, Alec Davidson Soler and Dani Long Martinez, both are Spanish passport holders who currently play their cricketing trade in the UK.
Davidson Soler plays for Theale and Tilehurst whilst Dani Long Martinez stars for Reepham and Salle Cricket Club in the Norwich area.
Both players are excited to be involved in the Spanish set up and Alec on hearing the news of his call up said "I feel honoured to represent my country. It is a massive achievement for me and my family. It is a new challenge in my cricketing career and I am ready and raring to go". Martinez-Long echoed a similar sentiment when he added "I am very grateful for the opportunity in front of me to represent my country and to get to know the team better. I am looking forward to the future success and growth of Spanish cricket and I can not wait to be part of its evolution"
The squad is completed by Durham Academy youngster Sebastian Hughes-Pinan who debuted for Spain in this format against Portugal and Romania last December and Tom Vine will be on the plane with Christian Munoz-Mills flying in from Alicante.
Local products Yasir Ali (who will vice captain) Awais Ahmed, Atif Muhammed,Hassan Ali, Muhammad Ihsan, Muhammad Babar and Babar Khan ensure a healthy Catalunya contingent and the squad in rounded off by Malaga based Lorne Burns.
Development players Snehith Reddy and Mati-Ur-Rehman will also be part of the squad make up that will be coached by Corey Rutgers. Strength and Conditioning coach Alastair Priddle and team manager Imran Malik are the coaching and auxiliary staff.
Matches are played on the 17th and 18th of February with alternating Mens and Women's International games. Admission to the ground is free and everybody is welcome.
Start time of the first match on Saturday at 8.45 (Spain Women v Czech Women) and the men start their action at 10.45.
Photo Credit: Diana Oros ECN (Muhammad Ihsan Pak-I-Care and Spain)