Cambridge CC place trust in settled squad in East Anglian Premier League
Cambridge have placed their faith in a settled squad for a first season at a new home.
The club have built their side over a number of years, and it will play it again in 2021.
But the venue will be very different as they have had to move from Clare College Sports Ground to Caldecote CC.
The priority, though, will be getting back out on the pitch.
“I think, first and foremost, mostly the lads are just looking forward to being able to get outside, play some cricket and spend some time together again really,” said captain Lewys Hill.
“That’s the primary focus. We’ve got a strong squad as always. We always feel we’ve got a strong squad so we’re excited to get the season going. As a squad, team and club we’re excited to get going again.”
The first-class experience will come from Michael Pepper and Daminda Ranaweera.
“We haven’t got any overseas,” said Hill. “We’ve retained players like Michael Pepper, who is contracted to Essex, and DK, who has played 100 first-class games in Sri Lanka prior to moving to England.
“For us, it was more a case of it was not something that was detrimental to our squad, or something we felt was a big requirement. The fact we’ve got people like Michael Pepper and DK who have played first-class cricket and been in those circles, they are almost better value than shipping someone over at the moment.”
The squad may be bolstered during the course of the summer by some players from Cambridge University CC, with the Light Blues captain Nick Taylor likely to play a key role in that regards; he opens the batting for Cambridge.
“We’ve got a few relationships with the university players,” said Hill. “Hopefully, depending on exams, a few of those players will be available for us.
“The fact we all know each other away from cricket is a big plus. We don’t just get together in the summers usually, we see each other all-year round.
“We’re always in communication with each other, and it’s just nice that we can actually do it in person, within reason, obviously with restrictions and being safe.”
The restrictions mean that Cambridge have not had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their new home at Caldecote. But this is not something that concerns Hill.
“Cricket pitches change all the time, depending on the weather, the conditions, how it has been prepared that week,” he said.
“It’s obviously nice to normally have a home ground that you are used to and know how to win there. But at the same time, cricket is about being adaptable.
“Most weekends you have to be able to react to conditions, who you are playing against. It will be the same process so it doesn’t worry us in that respect.”
The ambition for the season remains the same, to be competitive at the top end of the table.
“The Premier League is such a highly-contested league, everyone can beat everyone,” added Hill.
“Our aim is to win every game we play; obviously, we understand that sport doesn’t work like that and not many teams complete that, but we want to be in amongst it and competing for the league for sure.”