It's try again to start the 2023 season

The Club has two pre-season friendlies arranged for this weekend and, with the weather much improved, the prospect of cricket at Glenpark is looking much better for the matches on Saturday and Sunday.

Players and supporters alike were left disappointed last Saturday when the opening fixture of the season against Hillhead CC from the west end of Glasgow was unable to take place due to the cold and wet weather in the days leading up to the match which prevented essential ground preparations from taking place.

This weekend, on Saturday, East Renfrewshire provide the opposition at Glenpark while on Sunday it is West of Scotland who will make the journey down the M8 for the final opportunity for both sides to get in some early season match practice.

The weekend games will provide the Club's Indian professional, Rahul Dalal, with his first taste of Scottish cricket. The conditions will undoubtedly be different from those he is used back in his home country. There the wickets tend to be very flat, dry and dusty. Glenpark will be different from that on Saturday.

Dalal is looking forward to the weekend matches and has been getting acclimatised since his arrival less than a week ago. He quickly had a net at Glenpark to overcome any fatigue from his long distance air journey and has been getting to know the Greenock players during training sessions in midweek.

The pro is an experienced right hand top order batsman who plays state cricket in India for Arunachal Pradesh. He was the leading run-scorer in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, with 1,340 runs in nine matches, and the only batsman to score more than 1,000 runs in the tournament. He is also a right arm off spin bowler.

As well as providing strength to the batting line-up, the club will hope that Dalal's experience as a top cricketer will rub off on the up and coming young players at Glenpark. There is a fine group of players in their late teens and early twenties who are growing in ability and are now becoming regular players in the 1st XI.

Lukas Fischer-Keogh is a member of the Scotland U19 training group and is a top prospect as a wicket-keeper batsman. Others who will be eager to secure regular places in the 1stXI include Cammy Calder, Aryan Sanghera, Ewan Stewart, PJ Bryceland, and Jamie Nowell who all played important roles in the promotion winning side last summer.

And Dalal's influence will also be of importance to the experienced players in the 1st XI squad. They will look to him to provide assistance in improving their skills and also tactical awareness for the games against their Premier Division opponents.

Club captain Greg McDougall said, "There is a real enthusiasm around the Club. Players have been working hard in training and having a top pro this year in the team has given all the players an extra incentive as the season approaches."

East Renfrewshire, who provide the opposition on Saturday for what will now be the opening match of the season, gained promotion to the new Western Premiership Two as a result of finishing runners-up to Glasgow Accies in the former WDCU Division Two in 2022.

They won 9 out of the 13 league matches which they completed and just edged out Galloway for promotion by 0.71%.

The newly promoted team will be playing this season in the highest league that they have ever reached and will be keen to give Greenock a challenging pre-season opener before embarking on their own first match in the Western Premiership Two next weekend.

On Sunday it will be the turn of one of the country's oldest and most respected clubs, West of Scotland, to come to Glenpark. The Hamilton Crescent Club was founded in 1862, the same year as Greenock, and the two clubs have a long history together playing at the top level of cricket in Scotland.

West have won the WDCU Championship ten times since it began in 1893 while Greenock have won it seventeen times including that inaugural year when the club shared top spot with Clydesdale CC.

The Glasgow club will be opponents of Greenock in the Western Premiership One this season and will almost certainly bring a strong squad to Glenpark on Sunday for this friendly match. And encounters between the clubs in recent years have frequently provided well contested matches.

The most recent was a pre-season friendly in April 2022 when West scored 142 and then bowled out Greenock for 133.

Last season West finished in a very creditable fourth top spot in the WDCU Premier Division winning 9 out of 16 completed matches and will be aiming to be challenging once again at the top of the Premiership One this season.

The team for Saturday's will be chosen from the following pool of players - GJ McDougall, GM Chambers, R Dalal, JGW Hutchinson, I Khan, U Mansoor, E Ahmad, N Nagaraju, H Safi, A Sanghera, SS Sanghera, EA Stewart, U Varma.

Ronnie McGregor will be the scorer and the match will start at 1pm.

Sunday's team will be chosen from - GJ McDougall, PJ Bryceland, GM Chambers, S Chaudhary, R Dalal, LC Fischer-Keogh, JPC Hempsey, I Khan, JM Nowell, N Nagaraju, CS Pandher, T Polkinghorne, SS Sanghera, EA Stewart.

This match will also start at 1pm and will be a 40 overs per side contest.

Footnote: Regular 1st XI scorer Ronnie McGregor will be at Poloc Cricket Club on Sunday afternoon. He is a former 1st XI player at Poloc and will be attending the last ever cricket action at Shawholm, the club's ground within the Pollok Park Estate. As a result of the sudden and unexpected loss of the ground lease after over 140 years, Poloc Cricket Club, one of Scotland's oldest and best known clubs will cease to exist. Sad days indeed.

The Club is grateful for the continued sponsored from Cleaning Supplies 4U.