Horsham and Roffey cricketers optimistic ahead of 2021 season

Roffey's Matt DaviesRoffey's Matt Davies
Roffey's Matt Davies
Cricket fans have been warmed by the release of the 2021 Sussex League fixtures – and Roffey CC and Horsham CC are both raring to go.

Covid-19 restrictions meant the 2020 season did not start until August 1 with the new August Cup competition and T20 Sussex Slam taking place, but no league programme.

But, with the Covid vaccine programme in full swing and the numbers of new infections falling, the outlook for this year’s season looks more optimistic. Horsham and Roffey’s campaigns are scheduled to start on Saturday May 8, with home games for both.

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In the division two opener at Cricketfield Road, Horsham welcome Lindfield, while in the premier, Roffey entertain Cuckfield.

Ben Williams of Horsham CCBen Williams of Horsham CC
Ben Williams of Horsham CC

The season continues until September 4, when fixtures are due to end with Burgess Hill coming to Horsham and Brighton & Hove visiting Roffey.

Horsham vice-captain Ben Williams said: “After so little cricket last year, we’re all keen to get started, although it’s a bit frustrating that, apart from trying to keep fit, we’ve been unable to get into the nets.

“But we’ve got a couple of home friendlies lined up – against Middleton on Saturday, April 17 and Haywards Heath on April 24. It’s great that Chris Nash will be playing for us, as he did before he joined Sussex.

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“This season should be big for our two homegrown Sussex boys – Tom Haines and Tom Clark. They may be required to boost the county’s batting, so we’re not sure how much we’ll see of them, but we’ve got a signing or two in prospect and if we can’t get promoted back to the premier league with the side we’ve got we don’t deserve to be there!”

Roffey skipper Matt Davies said: “We’re usually practising hard by now, so we’re looking forward to getting under way to push for another league title. We’ve got one or two possible additions and we’re thrilled that Jamie Atkins is now a Sussex contracted player, though that might restrict his appearances for us.

“We’ve got a mouthwatering National KO Cup fixture at the club on Sunday, May 16, against Reigate.”

Like Horsham, Roffey are unlikely to sign an overseas player, with Davies adding: “It’s too much of a risk – apart from entry into the UK being presently uncertain, we wouldn’t want to pick up a substantial hotel quarantine bill. The absence of overseas players round the circuit might level the playing field.”