Cayman cricket leagues bowl off this weekend

Omar Willis gets some batting practice during a net session Tuesday.

The much anticipated Cayman cricket season will bowl off this weekend for what promises to be a fantastic season.

The two leagues both have increased participation, with 11 teams competing for the Daniel Morris Super Shield and 5 teams competing for the Derek Wight Elite Shield.

Daniel Morris, known to many as “Massive,” was a young Caymanian cricketer who died from a rare blood disorder in 2005. He is remembered for his massive size, massive sixes, and his massive heart.

Derek Wight was a Caymanian cricket and sporting icon. His handywork is still seen today. The Smith Road Oval, which has hosted many cricket games over the years, is just one of the many contributions he made to Cayman Cricket. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 79.

The teams

There are a couple teams making a comeback after a few years away.

Prison CC is back in the Super League under the captaincy of Kevin Bazil. Before Prison decided to bow out of what was then known as the first division, they had managed to win five titles in quick succession. They will surely be a team to watch with classy batsmen Lawrence George Cunningham, Steve “World” Gordon and Charlie Greaves.

The other team making a comeback is the Cayman Masters team, which is made up of players with great experience. Lead by Morvin “Twixks” Brooks, the Masters will surely want to stake a claim and show the young boys how it is done.

After a nailbiting final last season between Clean Gas (now known as Nor’Westers) and Paramount 2, there is no doubt that both those teams may once again be vying for the top spot. Although Chillies, Sri Lanka and Tamilnadu will definitely have a lot to say about that. Cayman Brac is also back for another run at the title, and with some of their main stalwarts stepping aside, a new crop of Brac players are on the rise.

In the Elite division, a new addition will be the Cayman Cricket Academy. Cayman’s U19s will be participating in the ICC Americas U-19 World Cup qualifier in July, and in order to make sure they are ready for the task, they will be participating in the Derek Wight Elite league under the leadership of coaches Peter Anderson and Connor Patterson. It will be a good learning experience for them and they are expected to be highly competitive.

Greenies captain Alessandro Morris has stepped down after an epic Championship win to concentrate on his personal game ahead of the Cayman Islands’ upcoming World Cup Qualifier in Bermuda. Taking the reins is wicket-keeper and batsman Chad Hauptfleisch. Topping the league again will not be easy, as all other teams have made it their personal business to ensure they take the championship this season.

Police CC has also moved on from captain Troy Taylor. The new man in charge will be Paul Manning. Although he still has a lot to prove and has been short in the runs department, he is hoping that this will be his breakthrough season. Police have not been able to rise to the top since doing the double some years ago.

SOL CC has been overdue for a trophy. They have all the pieces in place to make it happen, having strengthened their order with the introduction of Ainsley Hall, formerly of Paramount CC, and Kervin Ebanks on his way back from injury. They will be lead by the National Team Captain Ramon Sealy. With batsmen such as Darren Cato, Ricardo Roach and all-rounders Gregory Smith and Demar Johnson, this team will be fun to watch and hard to beat.

Paramount CC were the runners-up last year, under the leadership of Omar Willis. This team demands excellence, and they will definitely be looking to walk away with the Derek Wight shield this season.

Games bowl off at the Smith Road Oval and the Jimmy Powell Oval this weekend.

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