Cheltenham CC: 2022 Season Preview

12th April 2022

Cheltenham CC is aiming to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 with a summer of promotion in 2022.
Director of Cricket, Luke Sellers believes all three of the club’s senior men’s teams have realistic chances of competing in their respective divisions after a positive pre-season. The 1st XI will be playing in the West of England Premier League’s (WEPL) Glos/Wilts division, with the 2nds and 3rds in Gloucestershire County Cricket League divisions 1 and 5 respectively.

 

Luke said: “With both the first and thirds suffering relegation last year, both teams have a real hunger to put things right and show they belong at a higher level. In contrast the 2nd XI only just missed out on promotion last time round and I believe with the players we’ve added and a bit more luck on the injury front, the sky is the limit for them.”

 

The club has been bolstered by a number of new signings that will strengthen all three sides. They include Gloucestershire Academy allrounder Will Hope who joins from Great Rissington and exciting young Australian batsman Harrish Kannan who arrives at the end of April. Batsman/Keeper Chris Williams, allrounder Chris Drew and experienced seamer Paul Turner have all joined from local clubs. Other notable arrivals include West Indian allrounder Javier Spencer who will play in the 2 nd XI and ‘keeper/batter Brian Riddle.
 

Luke said: “The players who have joined us are not only good cricketers but also great lads who will strengthen us on the pitch and have fitted straight in off it. There is real competition for places throughout all three teams which bodes really well for the season.”

 

Another reason for optimism is the continued development of Cheltenham’s young players. In the 1st XI Hope joins fellow Glos Academy duo Max Shepherd and Stan Brown who both enjoyed excellent years in 2021. A number of youngsters made their debut in the 2nd XI last season with a number consolidating their places including teenage fast bowler Ziarmal Niazi and Gloucestershire Emerging Players Programme (EPP) allrounder Lysander Tarrant. This year’s 3rd XI is also likely to be full of exciting young players with Under 15s  Jack Freebury, Pravar Timmaraju, Neel Kulkarni and Herbie Evans coming into contention for regular roles in the team.

 

Luke added: “Throughout the club we have an excellent mix of youth and experience and I am particularly excited to see how the young players have developed. I fully expect them to give some of us older guys a real run for out money! We pride ourselves on being a club that can help youngsters to develop and the strength of the younger lads coming through really demonstrates this.”

 

All three captains remain in position for 2022 with Nick Evans leading the 1st XI, James Schofield the 2nd XI and Prakash Timmaraju in charge of the 3rd XI.

 

The club has said goodbye to a number of key players from the last few years including homegrown allrounder George Pritchard and overseas player Josh Breed who spent a number of years with the club and were part of the club’s promotion to WEPL 1 and subsequent 4 th placed finish in 2019. Wicketkeeper Max Trotman has also departed.