Jersey call up trio of young guns
JERSEY head coach Neil MacRae says his team has the capacity to top their group at the 2018 ICC World T20 Europe Qualifier, despite the absence of a handful of leading players.
The Island’s top cricketers are bound for the Netherlands later this month for the first step of a three-stage battle leading to the 2020 World Cup, but they will play without the wealth of experience provided by the likes of Peter Gough, Antony Kay and Nat Watkins between 27 August – 4 September.
Instead, Jersey will be represented by exciting potential in the shape of teenage debutants Ben Ward, Julius Sumerauer and Island football goalkeeper Danny Birrell. The trio are all part of a 14-man squad unveiled by the Jersey Cricket Board yesterday, which is also set to play Guernsey this weekend in the 2018 InfrasoftTech T20 inter-insular at Farmer’s Field.
‘I’m very happy with the make-up of the squad,’ said MacRae.
‘We’ve got a young, dynamic side with Ben Stevens, Jonty Jenner, Corey Bisson, Rhys Palmer, Ben Kynman and Chuggy Perchard all having experienced the great run we had in 2015 to the global qualifiers. And we’ve seen the likes of Jake Dunford, Harrison Carlyon, Dom Blampied, Will Robertson and Elliot Miles all emerge over the last few seasons in 50-over cricket. Now they’re stepping into the T20 format as well.
‘Ben, Julius and Danny have all come through our under-15 and U19 system and have done well. They have been around the squad for the last couple of years and have been on our radar all the way through junior cricket as outstanding young players who are now ready to step up.
‘We have a few players who aren’t available because of work and personal commitments, so it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to come in and show the quality they have.’
Discussing the upcoming qualifier, which will provide passage to European Division I – a tournament won by Jersey on home soil in 2015 – MacRae said: ‘This time they [the ICC] have added another level of qualifying to open it up to other European countries. The top two in each group will go into European Division I next year and our aim is to win the group.
‘We have played Italy, who are the other seeded team in our group, a number of times in the last three years and have beaten them consistently, including that great game at Farmer’s in 2015 in Division I.
‘We’ll be hoping to win all of our games.’
In addition to Italy, MacRae’s men will meet the Isle of Man, Spain, Belgium and Finland in Group C, while in Group B Guernsey have been drawn alongside Gibraltar, Czech Republic, Israel and Norway.
Corne Bodenstein and Nick Ferraby, who played alongside Gough, Kay and Watkins in World Cricket League Division 4 in Malaysia earlier this year, are also unavailable.
Jersey squad for 2018 inter-insular and World T20 Europe Qualifier: Charles ‘Chuggy’ Perchard (captain), Corey Bisson, Dominic Blampied, Harrison Carlyon, Jake Dunford, Jonty Jenner, Ben Kynman, Elliot Miles, Rhys Palmer, Will Robertson, Ben Stevens, Julius Sumerauer, Ben Ward, Daniel Birrell. Manager: Craig Meredith. Coach: Neil MacRae. Assistant coach: Lee Meloy.