Hopes high for weekend games at Glenpark

After the disappointment of last weekend’s friendly matches being called off, there is every hope that this weekend will see the first matches of the season played at Glenpark with two more friendlies arranged.

Saturday’s visitors are East Kilbride and the Lanarkshire team will be a stern test for the locals, having enjoyed a successful season last year that saw them promoted to the WDCU CSL Premier Division. Greenock played them twice last season, being heavily defeated in the league encounter but running them close in the semi-final of the CSL40 Cup.

Hillhead of the WDCU Premiership, which is the tier below that in which Greenock play, are regular early season opponents of Greenock and they make their annual visit to Glenpark on Sunday.

The dry weather of the first part of this week has allowed preparation for these games to make good progress and with a good forecast for Friday and the weekend, everyone is hopeful that they will go ahead and provide some much-needed match practice prior to the start of the competitive season the following week.

Everyone at Glenpark is looking forward to the new season and the players have been training at St Columba's School in Kilmacolm over the winter under the watchful eye of former Northamptonshire player and ex-Ferguslie professional, Con de Lange.

There is a warm welcome back for Tom Batters, from Melbourne, as one of the club’s two Overseas players. Tom performed exceptionally well on the pitch last season, taking over 50 wickets opening the bowling and his batting improved to such an extent that he was opening the batting by the end of the season.

The club is also looking forward to having Dwight Thomas as its other Overseas player. Dwight is from the Caribbean island of St Lucia and has represented his island and Windward Islands throughout the age groups and now represents the St Lucia Senior Team. Last summer he scored almost 1000 runs in Nottinghamshire league cricket as well as picking up a few handy wickets with his off spin.

Closer to home, Mark and Guy Crichton have joined Greenock from Bute County. In addition, several youngsters have been training with Scotland youth development squads over the winter, so this will be an important season for players like Neil Flack, Harry Briggs and Louis Ware as they look to progress in the game.

Unfortunately, neither Batters nor Thomas is available for these matches, both of which are scheduled to start at 1.00pm.

Saturday’s team therefore has a relatively youthful look to it but the experience that these younger players gain will be of great use in the longer run.

The team for Sunday shows two changes from that eleven with 1st XI captain Shailesh Prabhu and Ben Peterson replacing Kevin Flack and Dave Sharma.

Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored this season by Cleaning Supplies 4U.