Littlehampton Cricket Club skipper James Askew expects West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 to be ‘the toughest in a long time’ this season.
Both Southwater and Henfield were relegated from the Sussex League last season, while Chippingdale and Horsham Trinity were promoted from Division 2.
Askew’s ultimate goal as skipper this season is to reinstate Littlehampton’s status as a Sussex League team. They ran West Chiltington & Thakeham all the way two seasons ago, before missing out on promotion in their final game.
Last year proved to be a little more testing as they could only muster a fourth-placed finish.
Littlehampton captain Askew feels the calibre of teams in the division this season will make it tough if they are to challenge for the only promotion place.
He said: “Our first aim is to better what we did last season, we were disappointed with the league outcome last year.
“We drew too many games but getting back into the Sussex League is an objective we have as a club.
“We’re just going to take things game-by-game, it’s going to be a very competitive league this year and a number of teams will be fighting at the top.”
New league rulings this season will see some matches played under 40-overs per-side win/lose regulations, while others will be played in the old 94 over style.
Askew believes the introduction of win/lose cricket will be beneficial for his team and said: “I think it’s something that will suit us a lot, especially after drawing so many games last season.
“It should make the cricket a lot more exciting, especially as in the second half of the season every game will be in the win/lose form.”
Littlehampton bring the curtain down on their 2017 campaign with rivals Arundel visiting The Sportsfield on Saturday.
Having struggled for wins early doors over the past couple of season, Littlehampton skipper Askew wants a winning start this year.
He added: “A win would be very good and it would be a great confidence boost for the lads.
“The last couple of seasons we have started quite slowly, then gradually picked up as the season has gone on.
“We’ve had a lot better pre-season this winter, so we’ll be looking to hit the ground running.”
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