Home advantage could be key for Cambridge University in the Greene King IPA T20 Varsity Matches against Oxford
Alasdair Dewhurst is hoping that home advantage will reap its rewards in the Greene King IPA T20 Varsity Matches at Fenner's on Friday (May 17).
It is a full day of cricket at the famous ground between Cambridge University and Oxford, with three matches scheduled - at 10am, 1pm and 4pm.
Dewhurst is the captain of the Light Blues' men's team as they bid to bounce back from defeat at The Parks last year, a match that the skipper describes as the "low point of his cricket experience at Cambridge".
Given the early nature of the fixture, Cambridge have not had many opportunities to play much T20 cricket, but they were due to face Huntingdonshire today (Wednesday).
"It's been difficult this year with the T20 Varsity match coming so early in the season," said Dewhurst.
"That said, the fixture being early in the term means that a win could give us a big boost for the rest of our cricket.
"I think we've shown how good we can be this year, but we've also played poorly in parts.
"However, the nature of cricket at Cambridge is that the strength of a squad and the success of a season is defined predominantly by performances and results against Oxford.
"We could win every game except our three matches against Oxford and the season would be seen by many as a failure.
"While I don't necessarily agree with that mindset, that's the way it is, so Friday will be our first chance to prove ourselves in that context."
He added: "I'd like to think that home advantage will be a key factor. I heard that neither side has won this fixture away from home yet so I'm hoping that will continue this year.
"I think it will come down to how well each team can adjust to a format that we don't play as regularly as longer games.
"Getting off to a good start in T20 games, especially with the added pressure of a Varsity match, is always going to be important."
The first match of the day is the men's second team fixture between Cambridge's Crusaders and Oxford's Authentics, which is at 10am.
It is followed by the women’s Blues match at 1pm, with the men’s Blues game completing the day at 4pm.
As Dewhurst explained, the trend in both the men's and women's T20 matches is for the home team to win - and they will be hoping to keep that record intact at Fenner's this year.