WATCH: Greens out to 'Finnish' top on ICC return
After three years of stop-start cricket, Guernsey are finally heading to Finland for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Bulgaria, Luxemburg, Austria and Slovenia are the first four nations that stand in the team’s way and captain Josh Butler is excited and optimistic about the team’s chances.
‘We’re going to this tournament and we want to win it. We want to get ourselves back into Division One and really challenge ourselves – but obviously we know we have to play well in Finland,’ said the skipper, who departed with his team last night.
‘I think the fact that it’s now tournament-based cricket motivates the guys that little bit more.'
‘Obviously, we’ve had Spain this year and three tough matches against Jersey, which is a great test for us, but I think tournament cricket is really where the guys want to shine.’
Watch: Tony Curr caught up with Guernsey captain Josh Butler ahead of the tournament in Finland
The road has been frustrating for the team, who have played on and off across the last three years due to the pandemic, but they are finally ready to go and compete.
‘The main thing for us has been to try not to change too much. Some people may try and become a player they’re not or try and change the way they play. The guys know their strengths and we’re in a really good place.’
The skipper remained calm and positive when expressing the teams ambitions for the competition.
‘We’re trying not to worry too much about who we play, we’re trying to focus on ourselves and playing our best cricket.
‘The strategy is to win every game – that’s our target, that’s what we want to do, that’s what we think we’re capable of.
‘In past tournaments we’ve had double-headers and long days, but this schedule looks like it should give us the best opportunity to really give it a good go.’
With the aim to play at the same level as Jersey, this tournament will be a great way to show what the squad is made of.
‘This is a good starting block after the pandemic to really give this tournament a good crack and spring forward onto next year to really challenge ourselves.’
Guernsey's Finland schedule
Sunday 24 July - v Bulgaria (2pm BST)
Monday 25 July - v Luxembourg (2pm BST)
Wednesday 27 July - v Austria (9am BST)
Thursday 28 July - v Slovenia (2pm BST)
Sunday 31 July - Play-offs (TBC)