Sudbury Cricket Club captain Tom Huggins has welcomed the league’s decision to delay the start of the season by a week, in light of the recent prolonged wet weather, writes Russell Claydon.
The Talbots were due to get their defence of their East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) crown under way at home to Norwich a week on Saturday.
But the continuation of the wintry weather has left pitches across the area still horribly unprepared on the eve of the season, with some waterlogged.
It has led to the EAPL’s management committee to postpone the start of the season until Saturday, April 21, with the scheduled second round of fixtures, where Sudbury travel down the road to Bury St Edmunds, set to become the first.
Huggins, whose efforts in capturing their first regional top tier title saw the club hosted at Sudbury Town Hall last week with a civic reception (see page 92), said: “Obviously with the weather our groundsman, David Oakes, has not been able to get on the outfield, let alone the square.
“I know it has been challenging for all the groundsmen.
“The league have made a decision to postpone the first week and tag it on to the end of the season which, in our eyes, is a sensible decision.
“At the end of the day we all want to play cricket.
“No-one wants a washout on that first weekend, which looks highly likely, and putting it at the end of the season makes sense.
“I think the league have made a good decision.”
It means the EAPL season will now conclude on September 15, with the promotion play-off semi-final up to the league taking place on the following day and the finals the following weekend.
Sudbury had been due to step up their preparations for the new campaign with a home friendly against Saffron Walden, which has been cancelled due to the weather.
Huggins revealed it is unlikely they will be able to play an outdoor game before taking on Bury in their new season opener.
“Speaking to various groundsmen they have not had this before and it has been a challenging few months,” he said.
“I have not known it to be as wet as this and it will be interesting to see how the pitch plays when we do get outside.”
Meanwhile, former New Zealand Under-19 international Timothy Johnston, an off-spinner, is set to join up with the Talbots from Canterbury towards the end of April, probably after the opening match, as the club’s overseas professional this year.
“He has played just under 60 first-class games for Canterbury as an off-spinner batsman and looking at his stats he seems a good acquisition, both from a cricket point-of-view and from the club’s perspective,” said Huggins.
“I am looking forward to meeting him and getting him involved here.”