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Jersey boss Hutchinson targeting T20 World Cup

Jersey v Ireland
Jersey were beaten by Ireland in last summer's T20 World Cup qualifiers [ICC]

Jersey head coach Paul Hutchison says he is targeting qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup.

The islanders begin their campaign next month with a qualifying tournament in Germany.

Victory would send Jersey back to the European qualifiers where they would be vying for two places for the tournament in India and Sri Lanka in February and March 2026.

Jersey finished fourth in the final round of European qualifying last summer behind Scotland and Ireland - who are playing at this year's tournament in the West Indies and USA - and third-placed Italy.

"We want to go to Germany and come back with a qualification for the World Cup in the T20 format," Hutchison told BBC Radio Jersey's Sport Matters podcast.

The islanders will face Denmark next weekend in warm-up matches as well as Channel Island rivals Guernsey ahead of the tournament.

Jersey will then switch to defending their 50-over ICC Challenge League title, which they won two years ago, in Kenya.

Victory in 2022 sent Jersey to the next round of World Cup qualifying and playing full-status one-day international matches for the first time where they faced four sides currently playing at the T20 World Cup.

"I'm probably a traditionalist, I like 50 over cricket a lot," added Hutchison.

"I'd love to see us go out to Kenya and come back with as many wins as possible.

"You play five games while you're there, you do that three times over three years, and then you get the overall winner who then gets ODI status.

"We want to play in proper full ODI status."

Paul Hutchison (left) and Darren Thomas
Former Yorkshire, Sussex and Middlesex player Paul Hutchison (left) and ex-Glamorgan all-rounder Darren Thomas have taken charge of Jersey's men's and women's sides respectively this year [BBC]

Jersey need 'broader' player pool

To help in Jersey's ambitions Hutchison - who took over earlier this year from Neil MacRae - is planning to start a Jersey men's 'A' side.

He is hopeful it will give players outside the national squad opportunities to develop and push those in the first-choice side.

"One thing that we're looking to do is broaden the player pool," Hutchinson said.

"One of the main drivers for that is the pathway is quite small going through.

"It has produced a lot of good players that are now in the national team, but if you've got a lad who's been through that and has fallen out of it, and he's now 22 and just playing club cricket, where does he see way back in?

"There's nowhere for him to go unless he goes straight into the national team and that might be a bit of a leap.

"We want to create a bigger pool because if you do get a bit comfortable, if there are only 13 decent players on the island, then 11 of them know they're playing," he said.

"If we can widen it out and get a more in-depth selection process, then you should get people working a bit harder.

"They won't just rest on their laurels, they'll get off their backside and do a bit more running and show that they want to be in the team."