Defending league and Twenty20 champions South Manchester Maccabi, Bury and Whitefield and Manchester Maccabi look set to be the teams to beat as the 2009 Northern Jewish Cricket League season gets under way on Sunday.
Six clubs will contest the league with a famous name from the past rejoining. Salford Jewish Cricket Club, which disbanded in 2002 after winning four consecutive Harry Cowan Cups and the double in 2000, have been reformed by Robert Marks, son of former Salford captain, David, and Daniel Paul.
Robert Marks said: “Forming a team under the banner of Salford Jewish Cricket Club is a big ask. We hope we do not disgrace the fabled name.”
The campaign will see innovations including power plays in the Twenty20, a new bonus points system to reward performance as well as victory and a Super Sixes one-day tournament, which will be combined with a family fun day. The Under 14 season begins in mid-May.
“It should be a fabulously exciting season,” enthused league chairman Jonny Wineberg. “The additional team means a packed schedule and more opportunities for more players to enjoy the sport. The Super Sixes with its five overs, six-a-side format, should be a great day out for players, their families and the whole community.”
South Manchester Maccabi enter the campaign with a steely determination to go one better than last year. As defending double champions, the cup will feature high on their agenda.
Captain, Barry Price advises that South have again been busy in the transfer market while Jody Marks returns. The team is targeting a clean sweep.
Led by Zevi Saunders, cup holders Bury and Whitefield will once again have last season’s player of the season Mark Blackston in their ranks. Adam Schoger, Daniel Caller and Josh Rose present a formidable pace attack. Their title challenge depends on the form of batsmen David First, Zevi Saunders, Andrew Niman and Richard Blackston.
Manchester Maccabi captain Ray Tammam said: “We are looking to better our impressive form of last season that saw us lose one league game.”
Batsmen to watch include Tony Gellman, Simon Mann and Simon Jeffries. Daniel Franks, Steven Allweis and Tony Gellman will lead the bowling attack while much is expected from youngsters Mark Williams, Alex Nadler and Jake Woolfstein.
A youthful looking Sedgley Park side have high hopes for the upcoming season. With Michael Pfeffer taking over the captaincy from Matt Glyn, Sedgley look to have a new dynamic look about their side with other young players including Gifi Matlin, Hudi Scherer, Michael Pine, and Davidi Neumann hoping to inspire the team. Stalwarts Elliot Koffman, Jeremy Korn and Glyn will add a steely backbone and resolve to the batting.
Leeds Jewish Cricket Club are looking forward to their second season in the league. Big things are expected from Simon William, Clive Sullivan, Mark Smaje Daniel Kristall. Daniel Goldsborough, last season’s top run-scorer and wicket-taker, said: “We hope to be more competitive and have a good run in the cup. We are aiming for the final.”