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Akram dreaming of more Wanstead success

Wanstead's Kishen Velani narrowly evades a Charlie Shreck bouncer while batting for Essex against Leicestershire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Wanstead's Kishen Velani narrowly evades a Charlie Shreck bouncer while batting for Essex against Leicestershire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Thursday, May 8, 2014
12:00 PM

Captain ready for defence of Premier title

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Wanstead & Snarebrook Cricket Club captain Arfan Akram is dreaming of another Essex League title as they prepare for their season opener against Chingford on Saturday.

Akram’s side will go into the game hoping to get off to the best possible start as they target a third Shepherd Neame Premier Division crown in succession.

And Akram admits this weekend’s encounter against Chingford will be a challenging start to the campaign, but one he is looking forward to.

“Well I’m a dreamer, so of course I am hoping to win it for the third year in a row,” said Akram.

“We have performed well over the past two seasons and we still have a good squad, so there is no reason why we can’t win it again.

“Chingford, though, are a good side and I expect them to be challenging both this week and at the end of the season, so it is the perfect way to test us as a squad.

“We are ready for the game, but it certainly won’t be easy. They are certainly a good side and they will definitely be up for the fight.”

Wanstead & Snarebrook may have to do without youngster Kishen Velani at times this season, though, following his call-up to the Essex squad to face Leicestershire this week.

Velani got the nod after a number of injuries among the Essex staff, making 26 in their first innings, and Akram is overjoyed with the news of his inclusion and expects him to be selected throughout the campaign.

“It’s really good news for Kishen and it’s great to see him playing for Essex,” added Akram.

“He worked really hard all winter and now he has his chance due to a few injuries and I hope he can prove himself.

“I’m sure it’s going to be the first of many call-ups and everybody at the club is thrilled for him.

“We are fortunate enough to have seen him progress from the age of six and I take pleasure in seeing his progression.

“We know we are a stepping stone for players but it’s great to see them playing at a higher level after playing for the club.

“It is very rewarding to see players grow in confidence and ability and hopefully Kishen can continue to do that this season. I consider us very lucky to have him.”

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