New Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke reckons his side will have to show some old-style grafting in the opening weeks of the Northants Premier Division season.
Town are going into their seasonal opener against Wollaston at Bretton Gate tomorrow (April 23, noon start) without any outdoor practice under their belts.
All three of their planned pre-season friendlies were cancelled because of rain.
“It’s not ideal,” Clarke admitted. “But I doubt any team has managed to get any games in. We’ve been practising hard indoors, but it’s the not the same.
“With all the wet weather around the wickets won’t be the quickest so we might need to show some old-style patience with the bat.
“It won’t come naturally to most of our side, but batting out the overs could be crucial in low-scoring games.
“The good thing is the rules have changed and there won’t be as much pressure on us to bat first if we win the toss as the points are the same no matter how you win.
“We’re all keen to get started. We have a strong side out, probably the best I could pick, and we’re confident of starting the season well.
“We’ve been slow starters in recent seasons, but this year we want to make our intentions known from week one.”
Town have picked a team with four seamers including gifted teenager Danny Mohammed, as life without injured professional Paul McMahon begins.
Town ought to beat Wollaston, but last season they scraped a three-wicket win in this fixture.
Town: D. Clarke, L. Bruce, A. Butt, A. Akhtar, T. Young, M. Howard, D. Sayer, M. Danyaal, C. Milner, J. Dawborn, J. Smith.
Town are also in competitive action on Sunday (April 24, 1pm) when hosting Beds-based Leighton Buzzard in the opening round of the National Clubs Cup.
Normally Town would be hot favourites to win this one, but the game clashes with Cambs’ opening fixture in the Minor Counties Trophy against Norfolk at March.
Town’s Lewis Bruce is the captain of Cambs this summer and he’s picked club-mates Joe Dawborn and Asim Butt, while Clarke is also expected to be included.
Ajaz Akhtar, who has returned to Town to play this season, is managing the Cambs team so he will also be absent.
Ramsey take on Norfolk outfit Great Witchingham in a first round National tie at Cricketfield Lane, 24 hours after opening their Cambs Division One campaign at Waresley. Nassington host Ketton in the pick of the local games in the top flight, while Wisbech host Foxton.
Nassington could be without star batsman/wicket-keeper Dan Robinson who injured a knee playing Sunday Morning football last weekend.
After the first week of the Lincs Premier Division season was completely wasshed out, Bourne (home to Grantham) and Market Deeping (away to Grimsby) hope to ssee action tomorrow.
The Cambs League matches start at 12.30pm and the Lincs Premier Division games at noon.