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Top-flight cricket on hold, but a bright future ahead for Meigle

Gary Heatly chats to Meigle Cricket Club about their return to the CSL Eastern Premiership.

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
May 8, 2020 3 weeks
Top-flight cricket on hold, but a bright future ahead for Meigle

Meigle’s cricketers should by now have started their exciting journey in the CSL Eastern Premiership for the summer, but current circumstances mean that has been put on hold.

Skipper Charles Clark and his first XI squad have had May 2020 circled in their diaries ever since they defeated Edinburgh in the play-off to get into the top flight in Falkland last September.

The Strathmore village outfit knew that they were going to face a tough season in the Premiership, but Charles and his team could not wait to test themselves against some of the best players in the country week in and week out.

If things were ‘normal’, the 2019 Strathmore and Perthshire champions would have been training hard in between their league opener with Watsonians at their own Victory Park ground on May 1 and a trip to play RH Corstorphine at Barnton on May 8.

“We had a great year last year, culminating in the win over Edinburgh at Scroggie Park, and we could not wait to get our teeth into the Premiership and try and cause a few upsets,” Charles stated.

“After the Edinburgh game we had a good celebration and looked back on a successful season, but we were not just happy getting into the top flight we wanted to head into this season in as good shape as possible and try and show some of the more established clubs that we could be a force to be reckoned with.

“As a result, in November we did fitness testing and then from January onwards we were doing a lot of training – including more fitness – and we had put a lot of time into getting prepared for an exciting summer.

“Things are on hold, but the guys are staying in touch via video technology and WhatsApp groups etc and there is a great buzz about the group for whenever cricket does resume.”

Over the winter, Meigle trained at Forfarshire’s Forthill ground, the North Inch community campus facilities in Perth and the local Meigle hall.

Sri Lankan batsman Raju Gayashan was set to return for a third year as the overseas professional this term, but that is currently up in the air depending on how things progress going forward with the Covid-19 pandemic as he is still in his homeland.

Majid and Zahid Rasheed, the two top wicket takers in the Strathmore and Perthshire top flight in 2019, also joined the club from Dundee High in the lead up to this campaign and competition for places in the first XI is looking tough.

And for Charles, who has played for Meigle since he was eight, the opportunity to captain the team against Scotland internationalists and the like – whenever that opportunity eventually presents itself – is a special one.

“I have been in and around the first XI since I was 13 or 14 and 2020 is due to be my 11th season in the squad,” the 24-year-old Robert Gordon’s University graduate – who played cricket on the Sunshine Coast in Australia during our winter 2018/19 – explained.

“Last year was my first year as skipper and I enjoyed it. Certainly it helps if you are winning week in and week out, but the pleasing thing for me was the way which the guys of all ages came together as a group and we are keen to keep that going moving forward.

“Bringing big clubs to ‘wee’ Meigle is a great prospect and when cricket does get underway again home games will be key for us while we will look to pick up scalps on the road if we can.

“I must take my hat off to the hard working volunteers at the club who have helped us get into the healthy position we are in with two senior Saturday XIs, an occasional Sunday XI and a growing youth section.

“There are often 40 or 50 juniors down at the club and we are growing in terms of interest in and around the local area which is brilliant.

“It is such a nice club to play for and we look forward to famous clubs from throughout the East coming to play us when it is safe for cricket to restart.”

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