2015 Season Preview

Sunbury Planning Attack On All Fronts

After a disappointing 4th position in the Surrey Championship Premier Division in 2014, losing the final of the Surrey T20 to Ashtead and falling at the last hurdle in an exciting and closely fought final in the National KO Cup when they lost to Sandiacre Town (Derbyshire), off the 3rd ball of the last over, Sunbury have strengthened in the hope that they can improve in 2015.

John Maunders has taken over as captain and his first class experience should give a more competitive and professional approach to the team. During the winter the squad has been strengthened by the arrival of Australian Chris Green, the ex-Portsmouth University skipper Nataniel Gregory. There is also the burgeoning talent of quickie Ishy Sohi whose pace and accuracy have improved beyond recognition after a winter in Australia.

In addition, the talents of Adam London, probably the League’s most successful batsman over the past 5 years, the experience of quickie Kevin Smith, Olly Roland-Jones, David Nash and Adam Stanier as well as the ever improving talent of batsmen Sean Ventham and Rhythm Bedi. There’s also the all-round skill of 16 year old Amar Virdi, who cemented his position as Sunbury’s prominent slow bowler with a number of high quality performances at the end of 2014, and all-rounder Vishal Manro.

Maunders certainly has a squad that could bring success for the Kenton Court outfit, and of course there are also the occasional performances expected from Middlesex’s Toby Roland-Jones and Paul Stirling and newly signed Surrey keeper batsman Ben Fowkes who has been assigned to Sunbury and does hope to play when not involved with the County. The loss with a shoulder injury of off-spinner Matthew Todd until July and the retirement of Justin Granger are the only disappointments, but the skills of the new boys clearly compensate.

Chris Green, who at the age of just 21 has come to Sunbury from Northern Districts in NSW, where he captains the side and has already forced himself into the NSW State Side. He is also contracted to Sydney Thunder in the BigBash T20 Competition. He said he is really looking forward to a great year at Sunbury, where the facilities are the best he has come across and the determination of all the squad for success shows an exemplary attitude. After just 3 weeks in the UK he has already been given a chance to play for Surrey 2s who clearly recognise his talent. Interestingly, Green could qualify as an English player in the years ahead if he does not get recognition in Australia, but born and bred in Australia he is still loyal to the ‘baggy green’.

Another newcomer is Nataniel Gregory who at just 23 is an attacking top order bat and a medium paced bowler. He joins Sunbury after success as captain of Portsmouth University in 2014 and a season playing for Stratford upon Avon CC where in 8 innings in 2014 he scored over 400 runs, averaging 50, and took 15 wickets at 15 per wicket. In his formative years playing in Gloucestershire he gained County recognition at all levels of Colts age groups, the Academy and he even managed a few 2nd XI games. Like Green he has already fitted in well at Sunbury and is really looking forward to playing Premiership League cricket, which is new to him, and to many successful years at the Club.

Ishy Sohi is just 20 and has been at Sunbury for a few years playing Colts cricket. Over the last 18 months he has played for Northants 2nd XI, Surrey 2nd XI and spent a season in Melbourne last winter where in 14 matches he captured 32 wickets at just 13 per wicket. This improvement has brought him to the 1st XI as the natural strike partner to Kevin Smith. Asked about his aspirations in cricket he said he would love to play Professional Cricket and just hopes he can make the grade. He certainly has the pace as during his spell down under he was clocked bowling above 80 mph with a quick ball of 87mph. Hopefully that will shake up a few batsmen in the forthcoming Surrey Championship.

All in all a great year beckons for Sunbury not only at 1st XI but in the lower XIs as well. Martin Miles and Curtis Higgins continue as captains of the 2s and 3s and Steven Smith takes over the 4s. They all hope to improve on the 2nd, 3rd and 3rd positions of their respective leagues in 2014.

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