International T20 cricket coming soon to a ground near you

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Pulborough v Norway; Austria v Roffey; Horsham v Gibraltar - no these are not fixtures dreamt up from beyond the realms of reality, but the warm-ups for an international T20 cricket tournament coming to Horsham early next month.

While the Pepsi ICC European Division 1 Championship won’t feature the likes of Kevin Pietersen or Chris Gale, it will see the lesser known cricketing nations doing battle for the shot at qualifying for the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.

The likes of Sweden, Austria, Germany and the Isle of Man will all be descending on Sussex for the event starting on Monday July 8, with group matches staged at Horsham’s Cricketfield Road ground and at Preston Nomads, ahead of the finals day at Hove.

But up first the countries will be getting used to the English conditions with games against our local sides.

On Friday July 5 Pulborough host Norway in a friendly starting at 4pm, and then on Sunday July 7) Austria go to Roffey (1pm) ahead of the main action beginning on the Monday.

Gibraltar are due to practise down at Horsham all day on Friday July 5 and then appearing on Sky Sports Cricket a.m on Saturday July 6.

The first matches on Monday July 8 are Sweden v Italy and Gibraltar v Austria; Guernsey v Norway and Italy v Gibraltar.

This is the first time Sussex has hosted such an event, and Horsham will be staging morning and afternoon matches free for members of the public to enjoy from Monday July 8 all the way through to Friday (Wednesday is a reserve day), with the semi-finals and final then taking place at Sussex on Saturday July 13. Should it rain the semis and finals will take place a day later on Sunday July 14.

Horsham chairman John Carter said: “We’re looking forward to it. It’s lovely to see that cricket is really developing in these countries and this has never been done before in Sussex so it’s a real first.”

The two teams who make it through to the floodlit Hove final will then progress to the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates in November.