Captain’s rallying call for Jersey cricketers

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Captain Mathew Hague says Jersey travel with the hope of winning the ECC European Division II championship.

Jersey face Israel on tomorrow, France on Saturday and Norway on Sunday.

Jersey’s group winners play the runners-up in the opposite group and vice versa with the victors of those games qualifying to play in the final on Wednesday 9 August.

Australian Hague said: ‘We’re going to Scotland to win.

It’s hard to say what the opposition will be like, we’ll assess things as we go along, we can’t do anything else but.

‘No one really knows what to expect and I’m sure it’s going to be a great competition.

We do know that Norway have nine Pakistanis and two Indians in their squad so they’re sure to be some useful cricketers among them.

‘We’ve been together as a squad since January and Ryan Driver has put in a lot of effort to get everyone ready.

It was really pleasing to look at the scores from last weekend’s games because many of the players in the squad performed really well.

‘I’m confident Jersey will give a good account of themselves.

It’s going to be completely different going on to the pitches and not know any of the opposition at all.

‘It will be challenging playing different players and on different wickets but I suspect that will be the case for all the teams.

‘We have a lot of all rounders in our squad and there is a lot of flexibility; as I say we are going to Scotland to win the championship.’ Jersey Cricket Board vice-chairman Ward Jenner said: ‘I played in Glasgow and Edinburgh in my last year at University in 1987 and the pitches there were fairly good then.

‘To be honest I was surprised at the time by the facilities and I’m confident things will have improved further.

‘The hotel we are staying in must be massive because all the players and officials of the eight teams in our division are staying there along with the four teams who are competing in the Division I championship.

‘The Jersey party may appear to be a bit top heavy with officials but it is our first foray into ICC competition.

I believe it’s extremely important to me that I get a lot of introductions with fellow officials as one day I expect to take over from Keith Dennis as chairman.

‘Playing wise it is difficult to assess the opposition but it is clear that many players are Expats from other cricketing countries.

‘It’s wrong to focus on playing Guernsey in the latter stages, but it’s a natural thing to do because we know a lot about them and their players’ personalities.

‘Former Jersey player Chris Searson is playing a bit of cricket in France now that he lives there and he says he doesn’t think France are overly strong but they do have Asian and British Expats in their side.

‘I’m sure the case will be similar for Israel and we know Norway will be packed with Asian players.

‘There will be no easy games.

I’ve played against the Isle of Man, they are not a weak side and they did not make Division II so we must not underestimate any of our opposition.

‘All the ground work has been done, it’s now time to transfer everything on to the pitch.

I have a lot of confidence in the players and I believe they are the strongest we have available to us.

‘They are a very competitive group and they are not going just to make up the numbers.

They are a really athletic bunch and I’m sure they will do well.’ Guernsey also make their début in the same division as Jersey but in the opposite group against Gibraltar (Thursday), Germany (Saturday) and Greece (Sunday).

Guernsey’s chances of winning the division were boosted by the availability of Lee Savident and Jeremy Frith.

The tournament runs side by side in Glasgow with the Division I championship featuring the big guns of European cricket, Scotland, Holland and Denmark.

ICC European development manager Richard Holdsworth has dismissed the questions of the lower division competition playing second fiddle to the Division I contest.

Holdsworth said: ‘The biggest winners of the tournament will be winners of the second division and we are going to keep a close eye on it.’ Jersey: Mathew Hague (captain), Bobby Minty, Chris Jones, Peter Gough, Ian Crocker, Tony Carlyon, Mark Saralis, Nigel Crocker, Peter Blackburn, Jonny Gough, Dave Morfee, Jamie Brewster, Tom Minty and Andy Dewhurst.

Guernsey: Andy Biggins (captain), Ami Banerjee, Mark Jefferies, Steve Quéripel, Stuart Le Prevost, Jeremy Frith, Matt Oliver, Jamie Nussbaumer, Kris Moderndl, Gary Rich, Richard Veillard, Pierre Moody, Stuart Bisson and Lee Savident.

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