Sussex Cricket League: Which clubs will realise their dreams this summer?

Mahesh Rawat is back with Middleton for another Premier League campaign / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Mahesh Rawat is back with Middleton for another Premier League campaign / Picture by Kate Shemilt

The Sussex Cricket League season is upon us and as ever, the Observer will keeping up to date with the progress of all our local clubs. Here’s our club-by-club guide to how the summer of 2019 is looking for our sides.

MIDDLETON

Last year’s division and finishing position: Sussex Premier, 8th place

Division for this year:

Sussex Premier

Realistic aim for the season: Finish in the top five

1st XI captain: Sean Heather

Players in: Harry Hovey; Mason Robinson; Jack Carson; Richard Cox; Andrew Greig and George Kellingley

Players out: Nick Smith;

Josh Wood

Any other news on or off the field? Our overseas player from 2018, Indian Mahesh Rawat, returns, hoping to build on the 1009 league runs he scored last year. The club will be hosting a Sussex Disability XI v Middlesex match on May 19

Will you be offering opportunities for junior or ladies cricket? There’s junior coaching at Middleton Sports Club throughout the season on Mondays from 6pm. And women’s cricket is coming to Middleton for the first time as we host a festival on July 20.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Ian Burrows on burrowsmcc@hotmail.co.uk

BOGNOR

Last year: Sussex Div 2, 6th

Division for this year: Div 2

Realistic aim for the season: Promotion to the Sussex Premier

1st XI captain: Ryan Maskell

Players in: Joe Ashmore (Horsham), Louis Paul (Littlehampton), Neil Hiller (Clymping), Roy Kaia.

Players out: Andy Greig and Rich Cox, both to Middleton

Any other news on or off the field? In the close season we’ve secured the services of a dedicated coach, the former Hampshire spinner Raj Maru, who will work with all of our teams throughout the season.

The Regis Oval square has been completely scarified and re-laid and we’ve acquired a new outdoor batting net has been to allow more players to train on the outfield.

Our second XI will be run again this year by Harry Hood, the third XI skippered by John Hooker. For the title-winning ladies’ team, Tanya Wake skippers once more.

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s, or any other opportunities for junior or ladies cricket? All Stars will be starting on Monday, May 13 at 6pm at the Regis Oval, Hawthorn Road, and sessions will run for eight weeks. The cost is £40 total.

This year we are also running under-ten, under-13 and under-17 teams and our ladies’ team will be looking to reclaim the league title they won in 2018. Everyone is welcome to come on down and enjoy a session.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Please go to www.sbbcc.play-cricket.com and click on ‘Contact Club’ at the top of the web page. Alternatively call John Hooker on 07967 482056 for a chat.

CHICHESTER PRIORY PARK

Last year: Sussex Div 2, 7th

Division for this year: Div 2

Realistic aim for the season: Maintain position, finish higher than 2018.

We returned to the second tier of the Sussex League in 2018, achieving the goal of maintaining our place in the division for 2019. A late-season slump saw the team looking over their shoulders in the final few weeks. We have a similar goal this year but our long-term focus is a return to the Premier League.

The core of last year’s team remains in place. The team should also have the services of Abhishek Raut, an Indian overseas who brings IPL experience after playing for the Rajasthan Royals. At the time of writing his visa application awaits approval.

1st XI captain: Matt Geffen

Players out: All-rounder Andy Gorvin (Havant)

Any other news on or off the field? New wicket laid at Goodwood (home ground for 1st and 2nd XIs) during the winter

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s, or any other opportunities for junior or ladies cricket?: All Stars Cricket will be running again and the club are looking to build on the success of the ladies’ softball cricket festival last summer. The reestablishment of a ladies’ team is one of the key goals of the committee and there is the potential of competitive games against some of the local ladies’ teams in the area. Anyone who attended the softball festival who is looking to develop towards hardball cricket, please get in contact.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Jan Barnes (ida.barnes@btinternet.com) or Graeme Bennison (gbennison@talktalk.net)

STIRLANDS

Last year: Sussex Div 3 West, 4th

Division for this year: Div 3 West

Realistic aim for the season: A strong promotion run and top three finish

1st XI captain: George Coles

Players in: Henry Anscombe, Albert Burgess

Any other news on or off the field? We’re hosting a summer party on June 29 to which anyone is welcome to come along. Head to our Facebook page to see more.

Will you be offering opportunities for junior or ladies cricket? We have teams available for juniors to play and train with from U8s to U19s.

We also have a junior ladies’ team open to all ages and our ground will be hosting a number of junior ladies’ matches this season.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Contact us through our Facebook or Twitter accounts or by email at stirlandscricketclub@yahoo.com

PAGHAM

Last year: Sussex Div 3

West, 5th

Division for this year:

Div 3 West

Realistic aim for the season: We are hoping to push for promotion.

1st XI captain: Stuart Hanks

Players in: Nick Smith (from Middleton)

Players out: David Luffman

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s? We will – Richard Drake is the man to contact on 07971 829144.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved? Pagham are always looking for new members on and off the field, anyone interested in joining can contact Gary Young on 07788 411742.

WEST WITTERING

Last year: Sussex Div 5

West, 3rd

Division for this year: Div 5 West

Realistic aim for the season: Promotion for the first XI and second XI.

1st XI captain: Carl Tupper

Players in: Dom Daplyn (uni), Aaron Newman (uni), Ryan Steer, Charlie Taylor, Jack Thompson, Seb Nichols (all juniors)

Any other news on or off the field? It’s our centenary year and we are playing the MCC on Sunday, July 21.

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s, or any other opportunities for junior or ladies cricket? All Stars (5-8yrs) - Friday 4.30-5.30pm; juniors (8-13yrs) - Friday 6pm-7.30pm; ladies softball - Wednesday 6pm-7.30pm.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Call Carl Tupper on 07540 602825.

EASTERGATE

Last year: Div 5 West, relegated

Division for this year: Div 6 West

Realistic aim for the season: Mid-table finish, although we are hopeful of challenging for promotion back to Div 5 West.

1st XI captain: Pete Smith

Any other news? A continuing throughput of promising young players from our colts section enables Eastergate to field 22 players each Saturday across the 1st and 2nd XI.

Will you be offering opportunities for junior cricket? Our Saturday morning junior colts’ training always welcomes new players.

ALDWICK

Last year: Div 6 West,

mid-table

Division for this year:

Div 6 West

Realistic aim for the season: Repaying the faith in the squad who kept with us in our darkest days and looking to take our passion and energy of the new pavilion on to the pitch.

1st XI captain: Alex Cooper

Players in: Simon Barter, Morgan Murphy, Ryan Walkley, Liam Tinson, Herman Paul, Morgan Bambridge

Players out: James Amis (to Selsey), Charlie Barnett (relocated because of uni)

Any other news? New pavilion, resurgence of energy and looking forward to an exciting season for the club.

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s? Yes – see allstarscricket.co.uk/aldwickcc

Who can people contact if they want to get involved? Email aldwickcc@hotmail.com

SELSEY

Last year: Div 6 West,

bottom – relegated

Division for this year:

Div 7 West

Realistic aim for the season: Mid-table, just be competitive

1st XI captain: Tom Cripps

Players in: Josh Stocks, Callum Britton,

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s, or any other opportunities for junior or ladies cricket? We are offering All Stars for the first time at Selsey CC, on Monday evenings. We will be holding a ladies’ softball day on Sunday, May 26.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved with the club? Email Tom Cripps on tomcripps28@gmail.com or email info@selseycc.co.uk

EMSWORTH

Last year: Hampshire League Div 3 South, 2nd

Divison for this year: Hampshire Div 2 South

Realistic aim for the season: To remain in the same division for consolidation. A top-half finish will be the aim, promotion will be a bonus but the potential is there if we play to our capabilities.

1st XI captain; Mike Norris

Players in: Ash Court and Freddie Burgess, both from Salthill CC.

Will you be offering All Stars sessions for 5-8s or any other opportunities for junior or ladies’ cricket? We offer a full range of age group cricket from five years upwards, including All Stars sessions. We’re also building a ladies’ squad that participates in the W10 softball tournaments.

Who can people contact if they want to get involved? Call John White on 07788 260946 or email Nick Webb at nick.webb21@yahoo.co.uk