Time is of the essence for premier clubs

Sarisbury's  Ryan Burl
Sarisbury's Ryan Burl
Alex Shephard, right. Picture: Keith Woodland

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David Banks believes his Sarisbury Athletic team will be well suited to the change in format as the Southern Electric Premier League premier division makes the switch to time games this weekend.

The longer version of the one-day game has become a thorny subject for many clubs in the top flight in recent times.

Instead of a straight 50 overs per side contest, the matches consist of 120 overs with the side batting first having the option to bat for as many as 64.

While it introduces a new tactical element to the games, there is also a prospect of drawn games which some feel promotes a more negative brand of cricket.

The fact matches can now run from 11.30am to 7.30pm also ensures plenty of players can no longer play in the top division because of other commitments.

But the Sarisbury skipper is looking forward to the different proposition after the club’s promotion last season.

Banks said: ‘I’ve got no issue with playing it.

‘I would probably prefer to play overs cricket win or lose but we will just get on with it.

‘I think we will be strong in timed cricket.

‘We’ve got some class bowlers and having a good spinner in Ryan Burl, who will be able to bowl as many overs as he wants.

‘It will suit us and I don’t see it being a problem.

‘Sometimes it can promote negative cricket but I will never go into a game thinking about playing out a draw.

‘We will try to win every game possible and play as positively as we can.

‘If you are eight or nine wickets down chasing a big score with a few overs left, then you might take a draw.

‘But we will never go out and play negatively.

‘Not every team thinks that way and it’s a shame.

‘Maybe that’s why some people have got a bit fed up with time games.’

Those principles will be put to the test tomorrow as Sarisbury host South Wilts, who battered Havant last week to cement their place at the top of the table.

Elsewhere in the top tier, Havant travel to Hampshire Academy eager to bounce back.

Burridge, who sunk to the bottom of the division after losing last week, host Ventnor.