Six drafted into Isle of Man squad ahead of June’s Euros

Castletown's Richard Corke fends off a delivery from Cronkbourne talisman Max Stokoe during Saturday's Standard Bank Premiership clash at Tromode. Stokoe and wicket-keeper Adam Killey (pictured) are in the island squad for this week's European Division Two warm-up games in Merseyside - MW140518(88)

Castletown's Richard Corke fends off a delivery from Cronkbourne talisman Max Stokoe during Saturday's Standard Bank Premiership clash at Tromode. Stokoe and wicket-keeper Adam Killey (pictured) are in the island squad for this week's European Division Two warm-up games in Merseyside - MW140518(88)

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The Isle of Man squad for June’s European Division Two championships in Essex sees six changes to the line-up that competed in the Division One tournament last season.

Into the team come Castletown duo Wicus Wessels, Gareth Morris, Cronkboune pair Sam Kebbell and Adam Killey (Cronkbourne) plus Greg Hawke (Peel and St John’s) and Danny Kniveton (Crosby).

The side will be led by Phil Littlejohns (Peel and St John’s) and also includes Alex Stokoe, Max Stokoe, Carl Wagstaffe, Adam McAuley, Luke Lacey (Cronkbourne), Ollie Webster and Akkie Van Den Berg (Peel and St John’s).

The tournament starts at the end of June and the other nations involved are Germany, Norway, Austria, former island coach Gareth Dawson’s Gibraltar and recent Division Three winners Belgium.

Tour manager will be Colin Jones and coach is Phil Unsworth.

As part of their preparations, the squad are playing three matches in England this week against Liverpool Competition opposition.

The trip has been arranged by Unsworth to give everybody the opportunity to play on high-quality cricket grounds, develop their cricketing skills and help prepare for the ICC tournament.

Today, Thursday, the Manx meet Liverpool CC at 6pm followed by two games on Friday at Southport & Birkdale CC against a Liverpool Competition Under-21s (11am) and Ormskirk CC (3pm).

All games will be played in coloured clothing with white balls under ICC regulations.

Unsworth said: ‘I am really grateful for the kind support of all involved in the Liverpool Competition, they’ve helped make this trip a great opportunity for Manx cricket.

‘A lot of my players play regularly on artificial pitches in the island so to experience playing on high-quality pitches and grounds like Liverpool and Southport will be a fantastic and worthwhile experience for them.’

Chairman of Southport & Birkdale Cricket Club Tony Elwood said: ‘We are looking forward to hosting the Isle of Man team on their visit to the UK.

‘We wish them well, both in these warm-up games and for the ICC T20 competition at Chelmsford later in the season.

‘We are always keen to support touring sides and I personally look forward to welcoming them to the club and hope that they enjoy their stay in Southport.’

John Williams, chairman of the Liverpool Competition, added: ‘A number of our clubs have made regular trips across to the island and last summer we played each other in a highly competitive series of matches at under-17 level.

‘This fixture gives some of the up-and-coming youngsters in our league a great opportunity to play on such a stage, while providing a stern test for the Isle of Man boys in their preparation for what lies ahead.’

l Round-up of the weekend’s cricket in Tuesday’s Examiner

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