Lamb ready for Premier season

Nick Lamb bowls against Tring

Nick Lamb bowls against Tring - Credit: Archant

Harpenden captain Nick Lamb has refused to label his team as favourites to win the newly-formed Saracens Herts Premier Division, which begins on Saturday.

Harpenden finished fourth in last year’s Home Counties Premier Cricket League (HCPCL) and were the top Hertfordshire team, leading many to make them favourites in the new format.

But Lamb believes there will be stiff competition throughout the division.

“I don’t want to say we’re favourites because there are a lot of strong teams. Radlett will be good and Welwyn Garden City have signed Owais Shah, but if we play to our best then we will be there or thereabouts.

“To win the league is always the plan but the main aim is to get through to the semi-final or final of the play-offs is the aim.”

In the new league, at the end of the season the top four teams enter a play-off format to decide the champion.

“It took some time to get used to the changes, especially having played in the Home Counties League for five or six years and playing big clubs. But now the season is approaching, I’m really looking forward to it; it’s going to be tough, competitive cricket as we’ll be playing against mates and county colleagues,” said Lamb.

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Heading into his fourth year as captain, Lamb has added two new faces to the side while retaining most of the players from last summer.

Dan Wightman, a left-arm spinner who has first-class cricket experience in New Zealand, is Harpenden’s overseas player while Scott Galloway has moved to the area from Scotland and figures to be a middle order batsman.

Lamb insisted Harpenden are “ready to go,” saying the team’s preparation has gone well – Sunday’s seven wicket win over South Hampstead backed up his claim.

“We had a really good session at Lord’s, that’s where I work, which brought us all together for the first time because a lot of the lads have been playing in Australia or at university so it was nice to get us all together,” he told the Herts Ad.

“We beat Bronesbury in a friendly comfortably and all the lads have had good cricket, despite the recent rain, so we’re in a good position and ready to go.”

Harpenden’s first fixture sees them travel to Hemel Hempstead, who finished fifth in the HCPCL Division Two East last year. Still, Lamb expects a tough opener.

“It’s always a tough game at Hemel; the wicket always does a bit and it will be pretty green after the recent weather,” he said.

“It’s never an easy place to go but we’ve practiced on some hard wickets so we have to hit the ground running and work hard.”

Saturday’s game starts at 12.30pm.