Rule change should make a difference – Askew

Littlehampton captain James Askew is pleased to see a new ruling introduced
Littlehampton captain James Askew is pleased to see a new ruling introduced

Littlehampton Cricket Club skipper James Askew believes a change in West Sussex Invitation League rules for the upcoming season should promote more expansive cricket in the second half of the campaign.

Ahead of the 2017 season, the second time teams meet in WSICL Division 1, matches will be restricted to 45-overs per side. In the first half of the season, sides have a maximum of 49 overs batting first, before the team batting second has a minimum of 45 overs.

Having registered eight draws in 14 league matches last term, Askew hopes teams will come out, particularly at The Sportsfield, this season.

He said: “We weren’t too happy with how things went last season. Although we won the Gray-Nicolls T20 competition, we drew too many matches in the league.

“One thing we’ve struggled with in recent seasons is teams settling for a draw against us, especially at home.

“With the rules changing and games being 45-overs per side for the second time we meet teams, hopefully that will help us and other teams in the divisions.

“It’s going to make matches more entertaining, with teams no longer able to just settle for a draw. I believe it’s something that’s been needed for a little while, so to finally see it come into effect later in the summer will be good.

“I think Division 1 will be the toughest it’s been for several years this season. With Henfield and Southwater coming down, then Chippingdale and Horsham Trinity coming up, it will be tricky. We’re setting no targets but want to be in the hunt come the end of the season.”

Littlehampton have bolstered their batting ranks by bringing in Matt Cox, who used to be on Worcestershire’s books and is the son of Littlehampton Football Club secretary, Paul.

Askew believes the addition is a sign of what his team are hoping to achieve this season. He said: “As far as I’m aware, everyone from last season has stayed on. We’ve managed to bring Matt in and that’s going to bolster our batting line-up. He’s down at Portsmouth University and was with Worcestershire for some time.

“We were looking at bringing an overseas in but that fell through. It’s quite frustrating as we had trouble getting a working Visa for a couple of players we were looking at.”

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