Ali Dewhurst takes the reigns as Cambridge University Cricket Club captain

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 September 2018

Ali Dewhurst batting at Lord's. Picture: Mike Harris

Ali Dewhurst batting at Lord's. Picture: Mike Harris

Iliffe Media Ltd

Robinson College student elected to skipper Light Blues

Ali Dewhurst has vowed to get Cambridge University Cricket Club on the front foot from the off after being elected captain for the new academic year.

The 21-year-old management studies student at Robinson College was chosen by his peers to take on a role that has in the past been held by such luminaries as Michael Atherton, John Crawley, Mike Brearley and Majid Khan.

“It’s obviously a massive honour,” said Dewhurst. “When I found out, my dad started reeling off a list of famous past Cambridge captains and, although many of them I hadn’t heard of as they were all a bit before my time, I’m aware of the stature of a lot of the cricketers who have gone before me.

“So I’m very proud to be captain, but I’m also excited just to be part of the team for another year.

“There are a few guys in the squad who have been around the club for a long time now, so I’m sure they’ll make my job easier.

“I’m looking forward to using their input and hopefully finishing my time at Cambridge with a successful summer’s cricket.”

It was a bad summer for the Light Blues as they lost all three Varsity Matches – the T20, the one-day and the four-day versions – to Oxford.

Cambridge had found themselves chasing games from early in the matches, and Dewhurst wants to see that change next year.

“First and foremost, the main aim has got to be to improve results – put simply, we just didn’t win enough cricket matches last year,” he said.

“At Cambridge, we’re playing alongside pretty demanding academic schedules, so enjoying it is a big part of the game, but that comes from doing well – there’s very limited enjoyment to be had in any sport if you don’t win.

“Losing all three Varsity fixtures last summer was a big disappointment and something we’ll certainly be looking to change this time round.”

Dewhurst believes there were mitigating circumstances in their form this season, with an inexperienced side making it a transitional campaign.

That was in contrast to Oxford, the majority of whose players had been involved in 2017.

But the new captain thinks that the experiences of this summer will stand them in good stead in 2019.

“It’s about learning from mistakes and changing what needs to be changed, not just when we get to Lord’s, but as soon as we get back to Cambridge in October,” said Dewhurst.

“From how we structure squads to how we train over the winter, we’ll look at doing things differently right the way through the year, when we think it will help, to give us the best possible chance when the season starts.”

He added: “It was only the season before last that Cambridge won two out of three Varsity matches, so we know how quickly a team’s fortunes can change from year to year, and we’ll be looking to bounce back from last year with every confidence that we can do.”

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