Bognor keen to launch Sussex League promotion bid

Bognor Cricket Club reckon they are in good shape to make a big success of the 2021 season.

Ryan Maskell will lead Bognor's first XI / Picture: Steve Robards

The team from the Regis Oval will be out to secure promotion to the Sussex premier – believing they have strength in depth to do well in division two.

With hopes high that a full season, or something close to it, will be possible as the country comes out of lockdown, Mike Harris from the club said: “There is a real sense of belief growing around the Regis Oval as the 2021 season approaches.

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“The 1st XI will once again be led by wicketkeeper batsman Ryan Maskell, and the squad has considerable depth when compared to previous years.

“As in 2019, the overseas berth will be filled by Zimbabwean Roy Kaia, who makes up a quintet of spinners, featuring Joe Ashmore, Jamie Woolnough, me and the evergreen Jim Fallick.

“The pace bowling department has acquired more muscle, with Ben Woolnough’s swing supporting the increasingly consistent Josh Sargeant, with Taylor Jaycocks a handy change seamer alongside the left-arm variations of Sam Adams.”

Harris said Bognor’s batting had strengthened via the development of youngsters Jaycocks and Tom Woolnough, with Maskell, Ashmore, Kaia and Harris forming the rest of a likely top six.

“Most excitingly, the addition of all-rounder Nick Ballamy from Worthing gives the middle order some real firepower, with Ballamy’s seam bowling set to play a key role in Bognor’s attack as well, particularly away from home,” said Harris.

“The 1XI will be looking to continue their recent successes at the Regis Oval, whilst looking to improve an away record which has been lacking against the top sides in recent years.

“A top four finish will be a minimum expectation, with consistency and results in the limited-overs format set to dictate whether Bognor can eclipse their third place finish of 2019 in a bid to reach the Premier Legaue.

Bognor’s second XI should be stronger for the first XI’s increased competition for places.

Harris said: “Dan Winslow’s second XI will expect a number of high-quality players to be available every week. A number of batsmen will be pushing their cases for inclusion in the ones and the successes of Joel Baker, Josh Broad, Ollie Dabinett Jays and Josh Seward in recent years suggests that Bognor will have comfortably enough runs to play with.

“With a number of youngsters rotating around the classy Mark Woolnough in the middle order, quick scoring and an aggressive brand of cricket look to be the likely state of affairs.

“An interesting focal point will be Gary Maskell, settling into his much-publicised return to the game and looking to deliver on his prodigious talent.

“The second XI bowling has perhaps lacked depth in recent seasons, but the superb 2020 signing of Kutub Uddin galvanised the attack, and the seamer will be hoping to recreate his performances in last year’s August Cup.

“Supported by Winslow, Broad, the left arm of Scott Bingham and the unlikely javelins of the combative Harry Hood, the second XI will be confident of being able to take the wickets required for victory against allcomers this season.

"It would seem their major obstacle to promotion will be availability, but depth across the club will hopefully put that fear to bed as the season takes shape.”