Guernsey Press

Indies better prepared for second crack at European Cricket League

Independents are hoping experience will make the difference as they get their second shot at European Cricket League competition in Spain this week.

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Batter Tom Nightingale (right) said Indies will be better prepared this time around. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 33046578)

The Guernsey evening league champions are back in Malaga and will face sides from Austria, Estonia, the Isle of Man, and the hosts in the penultimate group of this year’s ‘Champions League of European Cricket’, which gets under way tomorrow.

‘We are really excited, last year was a big learning curve for us so going back now there is a bit more expectation that we have learnt from it and can adapt a lot better to T10 cricket,’ said captain Nathan Le Tissier.

Indies will be without leading all-rounder Matt Stokes and his bother Ant this time, but have been able to bring in two ‘wild cards’ in Hampshire Academy duo Tom Cheater and Archie Fairfox-Ross, who both featured as visiting ‘pros’ in the Guernsey Premier League last summer.

‘Hopefully they can play quite a big role,’ said Le Tissier.

‘We saw what they could do in the GPL, Tom bowls some good wheels and gives it a whack, and Archie is a really handy limited-overs spinner so we are hoping for him to hold down an end for a couple of overs, which is really important in T10 cricket.’

Mastering the short 10-over format that will be key for Indies, who will also benefit from getting to the tournament a day earlier than last year.

‘We got in at about midnight last time, which was not great, and then we had to play at 10am the next morning so we are just trying to give us ourselves the best chance to prepare,’ said batter Tom Nightingale.

‘On the field, I think just being more adaptable in those key moments, whether it be the start or the end of games, and just the way we go about our batting as well.

‘As much as it is to just try and bash it out the park, you do have to change the way you play depending on game scenarios.’

With the top team from each of the seven groups going forward to finals week, Indies will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Jersey’s OVs, who won through from their pool in dramatic fashion earlier this month. But to do that, they will have to get past the overall champions from two years ago, Spanish side Pak I Care Badalona, who they have been drawn alongside in Group F.

‘If we execute, with our ability that we have in the team, there is no reason why we cannot win the week,’ said Nightingale.

‘OVs’ performance does give us a bit of extra motivation,’ said Le Tissier, ‘we want to win the group’.

‘Seeing them do it last week and the way they went about their cricket was really good so we will definitely be trying to replicate that and hopefully meet them in the Champions week.’

  • All the games are streamed live on the European Cricket Network YouTube channel.