Cricket season preview - Sidley

New Sidley skipper John Haffenden
New Sidley skipper John Haffenden

Sidley are aiming for more than just survival during the 2012 cricket season.

The Gullivers-based outfit is making the step up to Sussex Cricket League Division Two after winning the Division Three (East) title last summer.

New captain John Haffenden said: “I don’t see why we won’t be okay. I think middle of the table wouldn’t be the worst of years. I don’t think we’ll go down.”

Haffenden, who scooped the Division Three (East) batting award in 2011, skippered Bexhill to promotion from Division Two in 2009 and led Sidley at the same level two years previously.

Two of the three clubs to go up from Division Three (East) since it started in 2008 have managed to retain their Division Two status the following year, although Ifield only stayed up by a point last summer.

“There’s definitely a jump up that’s for sure,” continued 28-year-old Haffenden. “But I don’t think there will be one of us that haven’t played in that standard or higher.

“There’s definitely going to be five or six of us that have played in the Premier League and the rest of the boys have all done well in the division we’ll be in this year.”

Sidley face a tough baptism to their first season in Division Two since 2008 with a home game against Three Bridges tomorrow (Saturday). Bridges were a Premier League club for many years until being relegated last summer.

Despite the wet April weather, Sidley have already suffered an injury blow. Hard-hitting left-handed batsman Paul Nice has picked up a wrist injury and has been advised to rest it for a few weeks. Play will start at 1pm.

Sidley (probable): Haffenden (c), King, Steele (overseas), Priddy, Woodroffe, Deeprose, May, Johnson, Swannell, Thompson (wk), C. Ramsden.

See today’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.