The International Cricket Association continues to grow its ties with European cricket after its ICXI side played against an Italy XI in Brescia during August 2017.
Players for the visiting ICXI included Saqlain Mushtaq, Saj Mahmood, Simon Jones, Aamir Sohail and Owais Shah – Pakistan and England cricketing royalty.
After the match, which 1,800 spectators saw Italy win, Fabio Marabini and Moghees Ahmed, chairman of the Italian Cricket Federation and the founder of ICA respectively, held a press conference to announce the Italy Super League 2018.
The ISL will run during July and August next year and include cricket stars and coaches from around the world. Further details to be announced soon.
The competition will provide an added stimulus for the 40 plus cricket clubs that currently operate in Italy. Modern sport thrives on context and focus and the ISL will help cricket in Italy to develop and grow.
At present, Italy are Associate members of the International Cricket Council and their national team comprises mainly of expats from other cricket-playing countries like South Africa, Australia, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There are one or two Italian players but ultimately the aim must be to engage more of them, something the ISL and the star players who participate in it will hopefully inspire.
Once that happens the knock-on effect could be profound with other European countries in which cricket has begun to grow and gain a foothold, looking to organise similar tournaments.
As they say in England, the home of cricket – “from little acorns do big oaks grow.” If the ISL proves a success there could soon be a forest of such leagues from Amsterdam to Prague and from Oslo to Naples, with cricket and its fans the winner.
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