Town blessed with lots of nat­u­ral tal­ent

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness Daily - By ALAN SWANN alan.swann@jpress.co.uk @Alan­swan­net

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. swann@jpress.co.uk.

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.

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