Benoni to host WCL5 in early September

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GUERNSEY will travel to South Africa in early September after the city of Benoni was confirmed as the venue for World Cricket League Division Five.

There had been rumours that the eight-team competition would be held in either Jersey or the Netherlands, but the ICC have opted for South Africa due to the ease of obtaining visas.

Benoni is 40km east of Johannesburg and one of its grounds, Willowmoore Park, has previously hosted one-day international fixtures.

It has come as a surprise to some, especially with four European nations being involved, but Guernsey Cricket Board chief executive officer Mark Latter is not one of those.

'Because of the problems that Saudi Arabia had in getting visas for the tournament in Essex a couple of years ago and the fact they are in it again this time, it is not too surprising,' he said.

'It will be right at the start of the South African summer so we are not too sure what to expect weather-wise, but the pitches should be pretty reasonable at that time of the year.

'In terms of the timing, it is what we planned for and is better for us than playing in February in Malaysia like in the past because our players will have a season under their belts.'

Guernsey are joined by Jersey, Vanuatu, Italy and four more teams – who will be decided by regional qualifiers – for the competition from Sunday 3 to Saturday 9 September.

It will be played across two round-robin groups of four, with the top two from each qualifying for the semi-finals.

Last year, Guernsey defeated Vanuatu in the third-place play-off to preserve their Division Five status, with the finalists being promoted and the other five sides relegated back to regional competition.

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