Cuckfield announce new overseas player and skipper Ben Candfield hopes they build on last season's performances

Ben Candfield is hoping his Cuckfield side can build on last season’s August Cup performances and climb up the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division table this season.

Ben Candfield
Ben Candfield

Like many, Candfield is very confident of getting a full season in this year following the recent government announcement.

And when the fixtures were released recently, the prospects became more real.

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But Cuckfield could not ask for a tougher start.

Candfield said: “I have looked at the fixtures for the upcoming year and there has been much talk about the first two games.

“We know what to expect against Roffey, especially away.

“They have been the best team in the league over the recent years and therefore it’s a great benchmark for us to know where we are at.

“Haywards Heath is a local derby for us, and that also comes with its challenges.”

Candfield, who took over the captaincy from Josh Hayward last season was pleased with his side’s performances in the inaugural August Cup but knows this year will be tough.

He said: “After being fairly successful in the August Cup, our goals are to continue to build on the performances we made last season and aim to move up the table.

“It’s difficult to judge the position everyone will be in having barely played last year and the small amount of time to train before the first league game of the season. That being said, I am confident in the team we are building and the steps that we have taken over recent years.”

And Candfield revealed they do have an overseas player this year in the shape of Sri Lankan Nipun Karunanayake.

The 30-year-old has scored nine first class centuries for Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club as well as representing his country at u19s.

Canfield said: “It was a decision taken very carefully.

“He has great first class numbers, played in England before, and offers us stability with the bat and another bowling option.

“This has recently been announced to the Cuckfield CC members and we are all looking forward to making him feel welcome.”

But Candfield knows he has great homegrown talents as well. “As our player of the season last year, I expect Joe Cambridge to show his class this year and rack up the runs in the league that we all know he is able too,” he said.

“Alongside Josh Hayward with the ball, who is our standout wicket-taker and the one you can always rely upon. We have some fantastic young players coming through the club at the moment, so expect some breakthrough performances in premier league cricket from some less well known names.”

And Candfield added: “As a club we are very hopeful for a full season, and we are making the necessary plans for this.

“I think the whole club is eager to get more cricket in, with the inter club chats avidly discussing the available cricket on the TV.

“However, we understand the situation may very well change, and as a club we will continue to follow the protocols the league introduces just as we did during the August Cup.”