Colts rising to the top

I’ve been asked time and again what the future holds for Jewish cricket and my answer now is very different to what it was 12 months ago.


The Maccabi GB junior team found the going tough at last year’s Maccabiah Games against strong opposition from South Africa, Australia and hosts Israel – nations against whom they have generally struggled. But a year on and the future looks brighter - with some real talent coming through.

Having watched him put the Southgate Adelaide bowlers to the sword on duty for the under-15’s, I recently opened the batting with Jonathan Albert who is definitely one to watch.

It’s surprising how few colts like to bat at the top of the order but with a little encouragement, Jonathan should look to consolidate himself in the top two. He bats with great composure and, at times, makes it look effortless. Hitting the ball cleanly on both sides of the wicket, he plays with flair and freedom and is rarely rushed into a shot.
Sam Clarfield is a powerful left-hander whose Maccabiah was ruined by a freak cycling injury last year. I really hope he gets another chance in three years’ time as he bats with great composure and hits boundaries for fun.

Another teenager who has made big strides is bowler Rayno Greenwall-Cohen. He has added a couple of yards of pace since last season and is hitting the wicketkeepers’ gloves much harder. Opening the bowling in the top division of the Chess Valley League at his age is no mean feat, but he takes everything in his stride and has top-order batting hopping around the crease.

There is also some great talent coming through at clubs such as Stanmore, under the watchful eye of Marc Reingold, Radlett, Totteridge, Finchley and Hampstead.

Legspinner Toby Michaels, who featured alongside Sam at the ‘Jewish Olympics’ last year, has all the qualities to be a top player. He has some great deliveries in his locker and leaves batsmen in knots. And he’ll be all the better for his experiences of his school cricket tour of Sri Lanka. Toby has also been a key player for the Merchant Taylors’ under-15 A-team that has reached the national finals.

Noah Zackheim, another youngster at London Maccabi Vale, has been a key figure in under-11 title success this season. He also made a big impression on debut for the U13’s, where he top-scored in the recent match against Southgate Adelaide. He smashed his first ball along the ground through extra cover for four and was a real joy to watch.

I’ve also heard great things about fast bowler Daniel Weitzman, who plays for Harrow St Mary’s, and all-rounder Oscar Stevens is another play to keep your eye on. There are plenty more in the pipeline so overall it’s definitely a case of the glass being half full.

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