Thu, 09 May 2019
FALKLAND 1st XI captain Jason Williams is expecting a tough opening fixture as the Thames Valley Cricket League kicks off this weekend.
The Wash Common side travels to Cove on Saturday to face a side that finished runners-up in Division 1 last season.
And with champions Cookham Dean being promoted to Home Counties Division 2, Williams believes Cove will be one of the favourites for the league this year.
He said: “We are looking forward to the season finally starting.
“We face a very tough start against last season’s runners-up Cove, who we beat at their place last year, effectively ending their chance of gaining promotion so we know we will be in for a tough scrap.
“They will be many people’s favourites to win the league, so we will go in as underdogs, which, judging on last season’s form, is a positive for us and not a negative.”
Williams said there had been changes to the squad, but is confident of a strong season.
Bobby Malik, Bruce Martin and Nick Benwell have all left the club, but Williams said: “Although we have lost three key members of the squad this season for various reasons, we have managed to attract several players who will feature in the coming weeks.
“We also have a very exciting overseas player, Sagar Chhabria, who will join us in three weeks time after his stint with Mumbai Indians.”
Chhabria has been playing for Mumbai North Central in the T20 Mumbai League.
Thatcham Town begin their Division 2B campaign at home to Aldershot.
Thatcham won five of their 16 games last season, finishing on 198 points to end the year in fifth place.
In Division 3A, Falkland 2nd host Cove 2nd, Purley-on-Thames welcome Wokingham 2nd and Sulhamstead & Ufton are at home to Slough 3rd.
Newbury head to Sonning for their opening game in Division 4A, hoping to improve on last season’s fifth place.
In the same division, Theale & Tilehurst host Wokingham 3rd.