Record-breaking Peterborough Town CC to chase national as well as county glory in 2022

Peterborough Town CC skipper David Clarke insists the club are still hungry for more trophies after a record breaking summer at Bretton Gate.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 2:00 pm
Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke receives the Northants Premier Division trophy from Northants League chairman David Hartley. Photo: David Lowndes.

Town’s top two Saturday teams collected an astonishing seven trophies between them, six of them in Northants League competitions.

The club are keen to continue that county domination –Town will chase a club record fourth Premier Division crown in a row in 2022 – but they also want to make a mark on national competitions next season.

“We won three Premier Division titles in a row between 2012 and 2014 when Ajaz Akhtar and Lewis Bruce were the captains,” Clarke stated. “And we’ve just completed three in a row again.

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Peterborough Town celebrate after winning the 2021 Northants Premier Division title. Photo: David Lowndes.

“But we’ve never won four in a row so that’s a major target for next season.

“We also want to make our mark in the National T20 and the National 40-over competitions. We have reached area finals in recent seasons and gone no further since the T20 National semi-final in 2014, but we have a side that is getting stronger by the season.”

Clarke should have the same squad available next season providing the club can fight off the inevitable offers for top-class all-rounder Josh Smith.

But the skipper believes a special club culture is as important as individual excellence.

“This season has been very satisfying for a number of reasons,” Clarke added. “We were really unlucky with the weather and we had a game called off for covid which the opposition refused to replay.

“We literally had to win every game we played in the last four months or we wouldn’t have won the league.

“But we were very consistent in our performance with every player making sizeable contributions when we needed them.

“We tended to get a great start with the bat through Josh Smith and Chris Milner and we had players score runs all the way down the order.

“Lewis Bruce bowled as well as he ever has and he made big contributions with the bat when we needed them most.

“The culture of the club really is special and I include the second team in that. We really are a close knit club with the seconds always coming down to watch and support the first team.

“(Captain) Balaji Ganesan has done a great job with a really young side and now they are in Division One they’ve closed the gap in standard between firsts and seconds. They have players like Sam Jarvis, Danny Iqbal and Kyle Medcalf who are pushing for first team places.

“We also have a thriving youth set-up which promises to deliver first-team cricketers for years to come.

“This season we’ve had Karanpal Singh (18) and Sulemain Saleem (19) playing together in the first team. They’ve been playing together at the club since they were eight and nine, and they don’t make the numbers up, they make big contributions.

“We should have everyone back again next year. Josh Smith is a class act and he is bound to get offers from elsewhere, but he loves it with us and he’s virtually committed to next season. He’s averaged over 50 with the bat in each of the last three seasons and his bowling is more than useful.

“I doubt we’ve ever won seven trophies in a summer and it will be hard to do it again, but I wouldn’t rule out anything with these players at this club.”

Town also won the Rutland Division One title under captain Alex Mitchell for the third season in succession.