Home   Sandwich   Sport   Article

Sidelined Sandwich Town Cricket Club skipper Jan Gray says his absence due to fractured wrist won’t weaken Kent Cricket League Premier Division team much this year

Sidelined Sandwich Town skipper Jan Gray insists his absence won’t weaken the side much this summer.

They get their 2024 Kent League Premier Division season under way with a trip to champions Lordswood on Saturday.

Sidelined Sandwich skipper Jan Gray - doesn’t think his absence will weaken the side much during their 2024 campaign. Picture: Keith Gillard
Sidelined Sandwich skipper Jan Gray - doesn’t think his absence will weaken the side much during their 2024 campaign. Picture: Keith Gillard

But they will do so without former Kent second-team leg-spinner Gray on the field.

He has fractured his wrist with the multi-talented Tom Chapman, who helped Deal win the Southern Counties East Premier Division in the 2023/24 football season, set to captain the side.

With experienced Sri Lankan all-rounder Roshan Jayatissa their first-team overseas player and South African Jared Southgate due to be with the 2nds, Gray said: “I don’t think that it’s a huge weakening of our side, really, if at all.

“Roshan is an off-spinner and we have got about seven or eight people that can bowl overs in the first team.

“It lengthens our batting, as well, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue from a performance point of view.

“It will be disappointing for me but I’ll be around to help out in any way I can.

“I don’t think they will miss me at all. They’ll probably be relieved to not have me yelling in their ears!”

Gray could be out for up to 12 weeks - potentially the majority of the campaign.

He said: “I fell off my bicycle - very silly!

“Luckily, I was wearing a helmet. I did bang my head but that wasn’t badly hurt.

“I hurt my wrist. They said it was a sprain at A&E, but then I found out about a month ago that it’s actually quite a bad fracture.

“They took my wrist apart on Saturday.”

While Gray is unlikely to be able to contribute much on the field, he intends to be around as much as he can be at The Butts ground to provide support.

He said: “I don’t think I would be playing any cricket at all if it wasn’t for Sandwich.

“Realistically, it’s a chance to see people I like very much, be at a club which is one of the most wholesome environments I’ve ever been in, and cricket is secondary to all that.

“Obviously, we want to win - winning makes it all more enjoyable - but the club is stuck out on the east coast and it’s difficult to recruit.

“The only way we are going to recruit is partly by playing Premier Division cricket but also by convincing people that it’s where you want to spend your Saturday afternoons.”

Sandwich, who avoided relegation by the smallest of margins last year, could scarcely have asked for a tougher start. But Gray thinks his team-mates have nothing to fear.

“The Lordswood game will be tough,” he admitted. “They won the league last year but the difference is consistency, rather than ability.

“I think every team last year got beaten by teams that they should have beaten and beat teams you thought they should have lost to.

“Holmesdale got relegated, obviously, and Sevenoaks got relegated, as well. They beat some of the teams at the top and we were very close to getting relegated, and we beat the top teams.

“Because it’s amateur sport, so much of it is just on the day. The case with amateur sport is consistency is very difficult because we’re not like professionals who train every day and play three times a week.”

Their second match in the league is at home to Blackheath seven days later, albeit they have plenty of local opposition to face, too, in newly-promoted Canterbury and St Lawrence & Highland Court.

Gray said: “This year is - by far - the least travelling that we’re going to have to do.

"We have Canterbury and St Lawrence.

“That’s two nice trips.”

Sandwich won at home to Kings Hill in the National Club Championship on Monday.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More