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Ilford captain Jacobs set to miss late start to season as he decides not to take risks

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 July 2020

Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Ilford captain Nigel Jacobs will be missing the first few weeks of the 2020 season due to wanting to see how it plays out with the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing.

Ilford players celebrate taking their sixth wicket during Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Ilford players celebrate taking their sixth wicket during Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Valentines Park outfit travel to local rivals Woodford Wells on Saturday for their first league fixture of the delayed campaign with divisions other than the Premier being regionalised to ensure player safety.

But Ilford will be without skipper Jacobs and a few other players potentially due to them not wanting to take any risks yet.

“I’m really keen to get out there, but me and a few others are taking the first few weeks off from the league to assess first things first, then hopefully we’ll be back for games after that,” Jacobs said.

“The report from last week’s warm-up game seems quite good, there was social distancing involved, and they were sanitising the ball and things, so hopefully it should be ok in a couple of weeks.”

Ilford claim their third wicket during Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Ilford claim their third wicket during Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The skipper insists batsmen like 17-year-old Akhil Anil could really step up and shine with players missing and during the shortened nine-week season.

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“We’re just picking from the squad of players we have, but within the squad we have a few very good youngsters,” he added.

“Like I said at the end of last season there is a boy called Akhil Anil who is now 17-years-old and he is by far the best youngster in the league.

Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Oakfield Parkonians CC (batting) vs Ilford CC, Friendly Match Cricket at Oakfield Playing Fields on 11th July 2020. Recreational cricket restarts under new ECB guidelines in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m absolutely certain in a couple of years he will be the best player in the whole league. He got 70 last week in a friendly and won us the game so he will be opening the batting for us from now on and he is the one that will really boost our team going forward.

“There’s a couple of other youngsters that were opening bowlers last week, Dylan Atayatoon and Perry Jayarrotan, who are really bright prospects, so it will be a good mix.”

Jacobs also wanted to praise Essex League chairman Tom Clarke for his efforts during the entire Covid-19 crisis.

“The communication has been really good, all the emails from Tom Clarke, and his posts online so I think he’s done a really good job,” he added.

“We’ll see how it goes. We’re happy with our league and travelling locally helps and we’re pretty confident we can do really well even with a slightly weakened team with a few absences.”


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