9 Top cricketer

9 – Stuart Le Prevost

Stuart Le Prevost captain of Guernsey in ICC tournament

Born to lead. That has been said many times with regard to cricketers but in the case of this Cobo diehard, whose father, Brian, is just that himself, it is a comment easy to defend. Strong of conviction, high on individual talent with a warm personality and, at the same time, always portraying teak toughness, he has been totally committed to the game since his days in short trousers playing knockabout cricket at the bottom end of the KGV as a kid. Cobo knew from very early on they had a real talent in the making and he never let them down, having broken into the first team at a young age in 1993. A year later, in 1994, he was voted GCA young cricketer of the year and three summers on he was a fully-fledged Island player where he would remain for 15 seasons.

Always a shrewd and decisive captain, seemingly never afraid to make a tough call, he stood tall at the crease and in character. Possessing a good defence and the sweetest of leg-glances as part of a very strong onside tendency, his 16 inter-insular appearances bore an impressive 477 runs,  a total bettered only by two other Sarnians, In overall Island representative terms, which included several years of ICC commitment, he amassed 1480 runs, again putting him third in the overall list of top Island batsmen.

Stuart Le Prevost icononic No. 23 at KGV

Twice Guernsey player of the year (1998 and 2004) and weekend player of the year in 1998, he featured in two century stands and six half-century versions in European 50-over competition.

He also had involvement in five 50-plus stands in World Cricket League competition, including one of 182 in tandem with Jeremy Frith. That day the poor Suriname bowlers bore the brunt of the combined efforts of the master innings builder and the forceful Le Prevost who contributed 67 off 73 balls as the third wicket pairing moved the score on from 120 for 2 to a massive 302.

The poor Surinamese were then bowled out for 52. Against Jersey he scored a fine 44 on debut in 1997 when batting first wicket down at KGV. He followed it with 31 at No. 6 in 1998 and after a rare failure in 1999, a year after he chipped in with 23 in the Millennium game. Disappointingly for him no doubt, his encouraging early days in representative cricket coincided with a long period of Caesarean domination.

Stuart Le Prevost clips the ball to leg

He played a major role when Guernsey turned the tide, though, with some fairly outstanding and consistent personal performances. In 2002 when the Sarnians finally ended their barren spell, he smacked a quickfire and undefeated 37 off just 16 balls. A year on at a sweltering KGV, he had raced to 48 from just 37 deliveries when he was controversially and, most probably, wrongly given run out. But the side won and they repeated the success in 2004 when Le Prevost took the man-of-the-match award for his blistering 53 not out off just 39 balls with all bar three of those runs coming in boundaries. He was batting at number seven that day when the top-order – with the exception of a very patient Frith – had floundered to 38 for 4 while chasing a modest total. Over the next eight years his batting performances remained consistent with a sprinkling of 30s and 40s, and if there was any finger-pointing towards him it was only his reluctance to bat himself higher after he had taken over as captain in 2007. He was certainly good enough.

By the time he stepped down from the captaincy in 2012, he had led Guernsey to three victories over the old enemy.

For Cobo the presence of a good captain in Paul Wakeford allowed Le Prevost to concentrate on his batting throughout the 1990s when the club went on a run of six straight Evening League titles as well as cup wins against Jersey’s best club sides, but he was the natural successor to the role and with Wakeford departed he led Cobo on another run of Rozel Shield successes. There have also been multiple weekend championship titles and, ironically, it was one of the few summers they did not win it – 2011 – that he enjoyed a run of back-to-back centuries which was very nearly three, finishing that attempt at a May treble with 93 not out.

Guernsey innings

L Savident                                            b Mirpuri      91

R Kneller                c Buzaglo               b Sadhwani 0  

J Frith                     run out (Mirpuri)                        51

T Ravenscroft                                       b Mirpuri      0  

*S Le Prevost         not out                                       68

+T Kimber              not out                                       42

B Ferbrache, J Nussbaumer, A Hutchinson, G Rich, J Warr dnb

Extras                    (b 0, lb 0, nb 2, w 10)               12

Total                       (4 wkts, 50.0 overs)                   264

Gibraltar Bowling

Phillips 1-0-2-0, Sadhwani 10-0-71-1, Khatwani 10-0-39-0, Mirpuri 10-0-42-2,

Latin 10-1-45-0, Bacarese 8-0-48-0, Watkins 1-0-17-0

Gibraltar innings

K Aswani                c Savident              b Warr                    6

V Khatwani                                           b Hutchinson          1

K Ferrary                lbw                         b Hutchinson          0

M Bacarese            c Ferbrache            b Ravenscroft         33

*C Rocca                run out (Kneller)                                  10

K Mirpuri                c Kimber                b Nussbaumer        9  

I Latin                    c Kneller                 b Ravenscroft         17

+R Buzaglo            c Kimber                b Frith                    4  

C Watkins               st Kimber               b Rich                     12

K Sadhwani            lbw                         b Frith                    5  

C Phillips                not out                                                 0

Extras                    (b 0, lb 3, nb 1, w 22)                          26

Total                      (43.0 overs)                                         123

Guernsey Bowling

Hutchinson 5-0-19-2, Warr 10-6-9-1, Nussbaumer 7-1-12-1, Frith 10-1-27-2, Rich 6-1-19-1, Ravenscroft 5-0-34-2

Other notable scores were:

2010 53 v Norway, 59* v Nigeria in 2009 in WCL, 63 v Hampshire Maniacs in 1999, and 58 v France in 2007

Guernsey v Gibraltar        European Division Two     KGV on Tue 13th July 2010

He scored 68 in 72 balls and put on 86 in 16 overs with Lee Savident followed by 75 in 8 overs with Tom Kimber