GREENOCK’S opening match of the season is on Saturday at Glenpark when Kilmarnock are the visitors.
The teams have only met twice — in season 2015 — since the demise of the old Western Union after the 1997 season.
Over the past two weekends Greenock’s pre-season friendlies have provided good practice and preparation for the league programme. Particularly pleasing has been the form of the two young overseas amateurs.
Tom Nicholson has quickly adapted to the Glenpark wicket and, in just three matches, has racked up more than 150 runs. His Australian colleague Ryan Walker, who is a fine leg spin bowler, has picked up seven wickets from just 14 overs.
Walker and Gregor Chambers have both shown themselves capable with the bat having each scored a 50 in the warm-up games.
For summer 2022, Greenock and Kilmarnock play in the WDCU (Western District Cricket Union) First Division. This is the result of the Glenpark side’s relegation from the Premier Division at the end of the 2021 season.
Kilmarnock finished in a mid-table position in the First Division last summer and indications are that the Ayrshire side are seriously hoping to challenge for promotion.
Without doubt Killie have been showing progress over recent seasons after a long time in the cricketing wilderness and will provide a testing afternoon for Greenock on Saturday.
Greenock 1st XI captain Greg McDougall said:”The players have shown in the warm-up matches that there is a strength within the team with both bat and ball. They are eager to get under way with the competitive games and are focused on making a good start.”
Former captain and experienced batsman, Shailesh Prabhu, is in the squad along with Chirag Pandher who can score quick runs and also be a useful bowler. Work commitments have prevented both players from being available for the warm-up matches.
There is a good mix of youth and experience with numerous very promising young players such as Lukas Fischer-Keogh, Cammy Calder, Usman Mansoor, Jamie Nowell and PJ Bryceland all vying for places in the XI.
A key player for the side will be Gregor Chambers. Last season he formed a formidable opening pace bowling attack along with Under-19 Scotland international Sean Fischer-Keogh. Unfortunately for Greenock, Fischer-Keogh will be playing his cricket through in Edinburgh this summer and so Chambers will be the lead bowler in the Glenpark team’s attack. He is also a capable batsman as he demonstrated with 54 not out against Renfrew last weekend.
Greenock’s team will be chosen from: GJ McDougall, PJ Bryceland, CS Calder, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, U Mansoor, TJ Nicholson, JM Nowell, CS Pandher, SS Prabhu, SS Sanghera, EA Stewart, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor
The match will start at noon.
The Glenpark XI, Greenock’s second string, commence their league season next Saturday.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U