Ex-Sussex batsman set to boost Hastings' premier bid

Hastings & St Leonards Priory skipper Tom Gillespie is hoping to have Harry Finch at his disposal as he starts preparations for the 2021 season.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 2:00 pm
Harry Finch batting for Sussex in 2019 / Picture: Getty
Harry Finch batting for Sussex in 2019 / Picture: Getty

The Sussex Cricket League have released this year’s fixtures and now Gillespie and his men are raring to go – and hoping nothing stops the season from starting in time.

Hastings are back in the Premier after winning division two in 2019 and will be strengthened if Finch is in their ranks.

The 26-year-old was released by Sussex last season after scoring more than 3,000 runs across all formats in 112 appearances for the county.

Gillespie said: “We’re hopeful of having Harry Finch back, he’s keen to play but a lot will depend on his own personal ambitions.

“Ideally he’ll score lots of runs and take a few wickets for us while getting himself back into a professional set-up. We have a few other players we’d like to play but are awaiting final confirmation.”

Hastings’ last season in the premier was a struggle and they were relegated, but the captain believes they will do their best to shock a few people this year.

They start the season on Saturday, May 8 by hosting East Grinstead before a long trip to Middleton a week later.

Gillsespie said: “The fixtures being released is a welcome reminder that cricket is still a thing despite the lockdown and snow!

“It’s a tough start, both good teams and a long away trip but we need to prove we can compete in the premier league again and this gives us an opportunity to try to surprise some teams.

“I think after getting relegated and making a poor account of ourselves last time in the premier league we have to be competitive and try to stay in the league. We’ll try to win every game as they come, which is the same as most teams and if we can get a few wins early we can focus on other things.”

And Gillespie is also confident they will start on time this season. He said: “Yes definitely, it would be nice to be able to get some training going but very keen to get a full season in - hopefully with a bar and changing rooms but we’ll see.”

Bexhill CC will be playing in division three east along with the likes of Seaford and Glynde and skipper Johnathan Haffenden said: "With everything going on in the world it would be great to be able to play some cricket. Fingers crossed we can start on time but will have to see how things go.

"It's a very strange feel to the up coming season as we can't do any indoor netting or prep at the moment so there's not much cricket chat at the moment either as we aren't able to get together like other years.

"It's a good sign to see the fixtures announced but I think there is still a lot to be put in place to make sure that when we do start it's all safe for everyone involved."