Cricket: Theeban Tavarasa reveals new look for Ilford ahead of start of Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division term
PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 May 2018
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In an article from our ‘Howzat’ pullout, Ilford captain Theeban Tavarasa looks ahead to the new campaign
There could be a new look to the Ilford XI when they take to the pitch for their first Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division game of the season.
Over the winter, the Valentines Park outfit have seen the likes of Saurav Prabhakar, Hussnain Kazmi and overseas player Nishad Gabhawala depart.
However, Ilford have been able to snap up Dutch international Shane Snater and have also secured the return of Harsh Kumar, who played age-grade cricket for the club before switching to Shenfield.
The Valentines Park club can again call on the likes Gurdeep Kandola, Saf Imtiaz and Haaris Ayub, while Theeban Tavarasa will skipper the side once more.
And the captain believes the squad Ilford have been able to assemble over the winter offers reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead.
“We are packed with some good players. It’s only a matter of time before we’re successful, but we all have to put our hands up and perform over the period of 18 games consistently,” said Tavarasa.
“The biggest issue we always encounter is unavailability of players during the start of the season because of university exams and A Levels. Hopefully it won’t affect us as much as it did in previous years.”
Ilford enjoyed a bright start to last season, winning two and drawing one of their opening four matches in the top flight.
However, as the season progressed, the Valentines Park outfit began to drop down the standings.
Though never truly in danger of being relegated, Ilford eventually finished the campaign in seventh, 33 points clear of the relegation zone.
It continued a recent trend for the Valentines Park club of finishing closer to the bottom of the table than the top – something Tavarasa is keen to see change this term.
“The goal of the season is to finish in the top half of the table,” he added.
“For the past few seasons we have been dragged down to relegation zone.
“With the calibre of players that we had at the club, that shouldn’t have happened in the past.”