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ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10 fixtures announced

The ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10, gets underway next month with many of the heavy-hitters from the competition in action
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The International Cricket Council's first-class tournament, the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10, gets underway next month with many of the heavy-hitters from the competition in action.

The tournament begins in Scotland as the 2005 champion takes on the 2006-07 finalist Canada at Mannofield, Aberdeen from 2 to 5 July. When that match is over Scotland and Canada will play a two-ODI series at the same venue.

Canada will then head to the Netherlands for two ODIs on 11 and 12 July at VRA Amstelveen. Then Canada will face the Dutch in an ICC Intercontinental Cup match at VOC Rotterdam from 15 to 18 July.

Meanwhile, defending champion Ireland will host Kenya from 3 to 6 July at Eglinton in the island's north-west. There will then be a three-ODI series at Clontarf, Dublin with those matches taking place on 9, 11 and 12 July.

Ireland will travel to Aberdeen to take on Scotland in an Intercontinental Cup (17-20 August) and ODI series (22 and 23 August), continuing a rivalry between the two teams that has flourished since 1888.

"The ICC Intercontinental Cup has quickly grown in stature and profile since its inception five years ago and now the ICC's premier first-class tournament is an integral part of the Associate Members' cricket schedule," said ICC Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy.

"This competition has played a crucial role in the leading Associates' development as team units and in challenging and improving the skills of both established and emerging individual players at these national levels. It has surely contributed significantly to some of their successes in recent years against Full Members in the shorter forms of the game.

"Currently Ireland is top of the pile having won the title on the previous three occasions but I know the other teams will be keen to end that domination and so it won't be easy for them to retain the trophy.

"The addition of prize money this year is another way in which the ICC Intercontinental Cup is being enhanced and is a sign of our commitment to our Associate and Affiliate Members," said Mr Kennedy.

There will be a total of US$250,000 in prize money for the Associate and Affiliate teams taking part in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with US$100,000 for the winners and US$40,000 for the runners-up.

Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event then evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.

This year's format will include seven teams (Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland and Zimbabwe XI), while a new competition, the ICC Intercontinental Shield will involve four teams below that, namely Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in all three events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider, Canada in the 2006-07 event and Namibia in 2007-08.

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