Ilford captain Tavarasa wants a repeat of last season’s start

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 May 2019

Ilford skipper Theeban Tavarasa (right) confirmed Ashar Zaidi (left) will not play for the club next season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ilford skipper Theeban Tavarasa (right) confirmed Ashar Zaidi (left) will not play for the club next season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Ilford CC captain Theeban Tavarasa is looking for another impressive start to the campaign like last season, writes Jacob Ranson.

Tavarasa and his side were sitting top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division table after six fixtures in 2018.

And he wants a similar start this time round as they host local rivals Buckhurst Hill at Valentines Park on Saturday in their season opener.

"We want to start the season on a good note, like we did last season where we won three out of five and we were top of the table after six games," Tavarasa said.

"We would love to have that same situation, but time will tell, we'll take it game by game and try playing positive.

"Last year we played Billericay and got 14 points in a rain-affected game in the opening game.

"Those points helped us stay in the Premier Division last year so we don't want to be falling behind the eight ball.

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"We want to do as much as we can to win a few games early and then look forward to the one-day games."

The right-arm off-break bowler knows it will be tough against newly-promoted Buckhurst Hill due to them having the likes of Hendro Puchert, Ryan Karunakaran, and a new overseas player.

"They're a newly promoted team," he said. "The last time we played them was about four years ago, obviously they've got some top quality batsman. Henry and Ryan, we know them quite well as it's a small world, and they've got an overseas, a left-arm spinner from Sri Lanka.

"They've strengthened their team up so I think it will be a really good battle."

Ilford crashed out of the League Cup with a four-wicket defeat to reigning champions Hornchurch but Tavarasa felt there were plenty of positives to take from the clash including Nigel Jacobs hitting an unbeaten 106.

He said: "Excited is an understatement because although we did lose to Hornchurch in the cup, the team batted really well, and batting has been our big Achilles heel in recent years.

"Nigel Jacobs got a hundred in that match, so I'm actually looking forward to it.

"It's a home game as well, and at home we normally do well."

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