Middlesex County League Premier Division: Johan de Silva confident Highgate CC can handle challenge of playing top flight cricket

The new cricket season is now upon us (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The new cricket season is now upon us (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Highgate will play their first Premier Division match of the 2018 campaign on Saturday when they entertain Richmond at Shepherd’s Cot

Johan de Silva has revealed Highgate CC are relishing the prospect of playing host to Middlesex County League Premier Division big boys Richmond this weekend.

The All Stars Cricket and Schools Recruitment Lead at the Shepherd’s Cot club feels the confidence the first-team squad generated in 2017 will still be present when the new season starts on Saturday.

After winning Division Two in the previous campaign, the north Londoners are ready to take the top-flight by storm.

“We had an excellent season in 2017 and played some top class cricket which led to a well deserved promotion from Division Two,” said de Silva.

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“Being in the Premier is a huge step up for the club and whilst we are aware of the challenges we face, the lads know effective execution of our core skills will allow us to compete this year “

Highgate CC have had a busy winter looking to recruit new players and training hard in preparation of a landmark first season in the top tier.

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The club’s overseas player will be Liam Knight, who has joined from Scarborough CC in Perth. De Silva said: “Liam is a very diligent cricketer in similar in mould to Shane McNamara (Highgate’s overseas player in 2017).

“We are looking forward to him contributing with both bat and ball, as well in various other areas of the club off the pitch.”

The Shepherd’s Cot outfit have not only been busy at first-team level either as they have brought in over 10 new players across the lower sides at Highgate CC.

Last season the second XI finished a creditable sixth place in the Middlesex County League Second XI Division One while with the thirds ended up second in the Third XI Division One.

Highgate’s second-team wicket-keeper batsman de Silva added: “The club has excellent strength in depth and some promising junior players coming up through the ranks.

“We look forward to these players having a major part to play in the senior league XI campaign across the season and developing their game both on Saturdays and in the Middlesex Development League on Sundays.”

The club have invested lots of time into their junior section over the course of the winter, with de Silva championing much of this work alongside David Proctor, director of junior cricket, and club administrator Shelley Eaton.

De Silva is running All Stars Cricket Sessions for five-eight-year-old cricketers in the hope that this will bolster the Junior Section in years to come.

Highgate’s three different All Stars Cricket programmes run across Friday May 11 to Friday June 29, Saturday May 12 to Saturday June 30 and Sunday June 3 until Sunday July 22.

The Shepherd’s Colt club have junior teams from under-nines up to under-15s, with plans for under-17s and under-19s next year and a clear integration plan for senior cricket.

For more, e-mail de Silva on highgatefixturessecretary@gmail.com or call him on 07481 622191.

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