‘The new era begins in earnest this weekend’ by Gareth Le Prevost Guernsey Press 5th July 2023

Three players have their chance to make their T20I Inter-Insular Cup debuts for Guernsey this weekend. The selection panel have named a squad of 14 for the three-match series being held at Farmers Cricket Ground in Jersey with potential debutants Dane Mullen, Martin-Dale Bradley and Ben Fitchet all included. With the exception of the unavailable Will Peatfield the selectors had a full pool of players to pick from, giving them some headaches. ‘We’re pleased with the availability and it led to some tough selection choices around who would be in the final 14’, said Guernsey’s director of cricket Jeremy Frith. ‘A whole load of people were talked about in our discussions and we had half an eye on how games seem to have gone at Farmers this season and the conditions we are likely to experience, which had a bearing on the composition of the team and the options we have got in it. We have got different connotations in mind depending on what we encounter in terms of the conditions and how they perform over three games.’

The Island squad have been involved with fixtures against the Hampshire Academy and the MCC this season, as well as last weekend’s GPL competition, but the upcoming T20Is with Jersey are the first official representative fixtures for the side since Frith took on his current role. ‘We have had good warm-up fixtures and opportunities to see the guys play, but this is the first time we have gone into an international fixture and one of the aims is making surer everyone feels part of a tight group, both in the present and looking towards the future – and we are going over there to win a series of international cricket. ‘It’s going to be good cricket and I’m just excited to see how our guys go.’

Guernsey squad: Josh Butler (Capt), Matt Stokes, Adam Martel, Ben Ferbrache, Ben Fitchet, Dane Mullen, David Hooper, Luke Bichard, Luke Le Tissier, Martin-Dale Bradley, Ollie Nightingale, Tom Kirk, Tom Nightingale, Zak Damarell.

Jersey squad: Charles Perchard (Capt), Dominic Blampied, Charlie Brennan, Toby Britton, Harrison Carlyon, Patrick Gouge, Jonty Jenner, Josh Lawrenson, Elliot Miles, Rhys Palmer, William Perchard, Julius Sumerauer, Asa Tribe, Zak Tribe, Benjamin Ward

Matches – Friday 5pm, Saturday 11am and 3pm

‘Busy Butler targets silverware then golds’ by Gareth Le Prevost Guernsey Press 7th July 2023

From leading Guernsey in international cricket to trying to mastermind Island Games medals on home soil – it promises to be a hectic few days for Josh Butler. His main two sports collide on one of the busiest weekends in local sport for many a year with leather-on-willow taking the immediate priority as the three-match T20I Inter-Insular Cup gets under way this evening in Jersey, before culmination in tomorrow’s double-header at Farmers.

Then Butler will remove his Island cricket captain’s cap to don that of the hosts’ team manager at the Guernsey Table-Tennis Centre, which promises to be one of the most competitive arenas in Island Games week. ‘Pretty exciting, pretty busy as well. It’s a tight schedule, but I’d rather be doing both than doing neither,’ he said. ‘We land back Saturday night about 8.30 I think, potentially a meal out with some of the boys somewhere and then Sunday morning, wake up and head down to the centre fore what looks like a 14-hour day to start us off in the group stages.’

Butler acknowledges that his side start as underdogs against Jersey in the T20I series, but added that the short format of the game allows one person to make a bigger difference to the outcome and he is encouraging his players to back themselves. ‘Morale’s really good actually. It’s been quite a good year for quite a lot of people so far, which is quite nice going into a big game. We know they’re massive favourites, but we try not to let that affect us really. We try and just go in and play our own game. Obviously the result is the main thing that matters in inter-island sport, but we’ll have our own goals out of the weekend, it should be good fun. We want to still play positive cricket and not worry about what they’re going to do.’

He added that having to then switch straight into table-tennis mode will give him a nice break from cricket. ‘I quite enjoy the coaching aspect of table-tennis. I used to play a bit more seriously back in the day, but now playing doesn’t really interest me as much as coaching. I’m quite looking forward to watching the guys get out there and hopefully bring home some medals.’

Game 1 Friday 5pm

Game 2 Saturday 11am

Game 3 Saturday 3pm

‘Improvements are being made’           by Harry Jones       GEP 19th July 2023

THREE T201s against Germany await Guernsey’s male representative side next month as they look to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Jersey in this year’s Inter-Insular Cup series.

The team will also play against Holland A in a 50-over game as part of their tour to the Netherlands, before meeting Jersey in the 50-over inter-insular in early September.

Director of Cricket Jeremy Frith, who was appointed in the role last October, said that he ‘learned a lot’ from the trip to Jersey for the T20 games and saw ‘great signs’ in his team. ‘Of course, whenever you lose to a Jersey side it is painful, but it was a really good experience for me to be able to see what was probably our strongest squad in action for the first time. Even from game one to game two we saw a number of improvements in the performance, and those changes were more just tweaks and things we discussed in between to try and make an impact. We talked about looking to close the gap and add another 20-30 runs which we managed to do, and unfortunately that third game got postponed because we thought we could improve and make up another 10 runs or so to give us a great chance of winning against a top team. Our aim is to be performing consistently at the level they are at and achieving similar things, so hopefully by the end of this summer we will have made further strides towards that’

The T2Os against Jersey saw opening batsman Ben Fitchet introduced to the national fold and he scored 63 runs in his two innings, while Griffins’ Dane Mullen and his skipper Tom Kirk also got a chance. ‘It was great seeing new players involved in the set-up and hopefully we can continue to expand the group,’ Frith said. ‘The games coming up provide us with a good chance to give a few more players a go and it also allows the current crop to try and nail down their roles, which is what we want people to be doing. We want to cement our vision for the future in the coming months and feel as if we are in a much better place’.

Adam Martel reverse sweep

This summer’s calendar has also featured the Hampshire academy side visiting the island to play the GCB XI in two 50-over games and two T20s, although one game was rained off, and Frith said that the increase in matches this year was ‘really important’. Coming into this summer our aim was to play as many games as possible and this year we have managed to play more than the last few years for a number of reasons. Getting a win against the Hampshire academy team in a 50-over game was also massive for us, so the signs are positive for us at the moment. ‘It is all about more engagement, making sure the players know our expectations and nailing down the way we want to play,’ he added.