Town blessed with lots of natural talent
PETERBOROUGH Town skipper Ajaz Akhtar believes he’s bossing the most naturally gifted team in his two decades at Bretton Gate.
It’s a morale-boosting comment from the charismatic captain ahead of a big weekend. Tomorrow Town host Wollaston in a Northants Premier Division match (noon) before travelling to Granta for a re-scheduled first round tie in the National Club Championships on Sunday.
In fact the unseasonal weather has been both a help and a hindrance for Town. The city side were hot favourites to win last Saturday’s washed out league clash at Burton Latimer, but they will now have a full strength team for the trip to Granta which wasn’t the case last Sunday.
Town are hoping the Granta contest will survive the weather as the clubs could be forced to toss a coin to determine who progresses.
Akhtar said: “We are probably now slight favourites to win at Granta as we have all our Minor Counties players available and they are not as strong as in previous seasons.
“I’m confident we can get a good result there, but I’d pretty much back us to win anywhere as we have so much natural talent in the squad.
“We’ve had some great players and some great teams at Town in the past, but for pure natural ability this one takes some beating.
“We’re a frustrated team at the moment though. The weather has stopped us getting any momentum and not everyone has had an opportunity to hit some form.
“Wollaston are always awkward opponents as well. We have the edge on quality, but they are a team of scrappers and we will have to work hard for our points.”
Town won their opening game against Rushton, but only two games in the entire 13-division Northants League programme managed to fin- ish last weekend.
Wollaston drew their opening fixture, but subsequently had all their points from the game taken away for fielding an unregistered player.
The Northants League are unforgiving even on unintended registration errors. Oundle prop up Division One after losing 22 points for such an offence on the opening day of the season.
Peterborough Town (Saturday & Sunday): L. Bruce, P. Mcmahon, A. Akhtar, R. Sayer, A. Rodgers B. Hussain, A. Burton, D. Clarke, A. Butt, J. Smith, C. Budd.
PETERBOROUGH Town skipper Ajaz Akhtar is to play Rutland League cricket for Barnack.
Akhtar explained: “Town don’t need me on Sundays, but I still want to play some competitive cricket at a decent standard.
“Barnack is a lovely place to play and the short boundaries there will suit me when I’m batting and fielding.”
Akhtar retired from Minor Counties cricket in the close season.
THE draws for the Stamford Cricket Cups have been made. This season the ties will be played on set dates. Stamford Charity Cup 1st round: (May 14): Market Deeping v Burghley Park.
Quarter finals: (May 28): Market Deeping or Burghley Park v Barnack, Uppingham v Ufford Park, Bourne v Newborough, Stamford v Ketton. Stamford KO Cup 1st round: (May 21): Stamford v Bourne, Burghley Park v Ufford Park.
Second round: (May 28): Stamford or Bourne v Burghley Park or Ufford Park, Castor v Ketton, Newborough v Market Deeping, Barnack v Uppingham.
ENTRIES are still being taken for the 2012 Jaidka Cup. Anyone interested should contact Alan Swann on 07778 421590 or by e-mail to alan. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teams who have already expressed an intention to enter are: Barnack, Bourne, Castor, Khalsa, Market Deeping, Newborough, Peterborough Town, Ufford Park, Wisbech, Yaxley.
BURGHLEY Park Cricket Club are starting Under 9 and Under 11 training at the ground this Sunday 10am-11am with registration required at the first meet. For more information call Stuart Biggs on 07743 152489 or email stuart_biggs@ ymail.com.
SUNDAY SWITCH: Peterborough Town Saturday skipper Ajaz Akhtar is to play for Barnack on a Sunday.