Middlesex County League Division Three: Crouch End CC confident they can enjoy success without overseas player

Crouch End CC coach Poojan Vyas (left) along with head of colts cricket Pratik Patel (centre) and co

Crouch End CC coach Poojan Vyas (left) along with head of colts cricket Pratik Patel (centre) and colts manager Ricardo Kirton (right) along with several colts during Saturday's taster colts session (pic: Pratik Patel). - Credit: Archant

The Calthorpe club have made the decision to focus on promoting their colts rather than use an overseas in 2018

The excitement at Crouch End CC is building ahead of this weekend’s Middlesex County League Division Three opener at Calthorpe, writes George Sessions.

Hiren Desai’s team begin life in the Middlesex County League with a home match on Saturday against Middlesex Tamil Sports & Social Club.

After promotion from the Middlesex Championship Division One in 2017, Crouch End will aim to show they are more than capable of playing at a higher level this season.

The N8 outfit are not only focused on their first-team but the youth section of the club and have therefore appointed Pratik Patel as head of colts cricket at Crouch End to help boost their junior set-up.

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Patel explained how the recent first-team title win has been linked to an improved academy system at Calthorpe and why the Division Three side have made a big decision regarding an overseas player for 2018.

He said: “I think one of the reasons for the success we had last year is because our first XI actually has nine players under the age of 25.

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“Promoting and developing youngsters is a really big part of the club as well as being successful with result.

“Because we’ve taken big strides to try and push our colts section even more, we’ve made the decision this season not to have an overseas.

“The club’s decision not to get one was so we can try and invest more time and effort into developing home-grown youth from Crouch End.”

Although Patel is focused on improving the colts section at Calthorpe even more, he is also a key member of the first-team and captain Desai will be hoping he can continue to deliver with both bat and ball in 2018.

Crouch End wicket-keeper batsman Jalpesh Vijay is also one of the club’s most potent threats and if they are to catch the eye in Division Three, he will play a big role.

In the shape of Saturday’s opponents, Desai’s side will be up against one of the better sides in the league with Middlesex Tamil Sports & Social Club finishing fourth in 2017.

Tamil claimed 93 points after winning nine of their 18 games – finishing 10 points off second-placed Wycombe House – so this will be a good opening test for Crouch End.

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