Open crown is next target for cricketers

CRICKET: The curtain raiser for the 2002/2003 National League Indoor Cricket season begins tonight with the British Open being held at Cradley Heath, Birmingham.

CRICKET

The curtain raiser for the 2002/2003 National League Indoor Cricket season begins tonight with the British Open being held at Cradley Heath, Birmingham.

Ipswich will once again be represented with four sides entering the competition.

Medite Ipswich, who are the National League Champions, will begin their attempt at winning the British Open for the first time this evening against probably the weakest side in what is arguably the toughest group.

Manager, Brian Barnard is under no illusions as to the task ahead: "This is a really tough challenge for us, we have the experienced Derby side and the unknown South African sides to contend with in the group stages.

"We are the team to beat by all sides now that we have won the National League and Stumps, who we pipped to the championship, will be looking to prove a point also.

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"We have a good strong squad though and I would hope that we can once again make the final".

Squad: Barnard (Manager), Driver (Capt), Saggers (V.Capt), Edmond (player/coach), Barker, Holder, Maskell, Norton, R Ongers, S Ongers, Pitman, Smith.

In the ladies' section, Ipswich will be represented by two sides once again.

Ipswich Ladies and Ipswich Vixens are looking to improve on their standing last year although the Ladies have the stronger squad and should make it to the latter stages of the tournament.

Ladies: White, Abbott, Willis, Breakwell, Hall, Wharburton, Foxwell, Wayman.

Vixens: Elsom, Bulger, Mellish, G Morris, Westley, Young, Black, Ranson, D Morris.

In the Masters competition, the Ipswich Warlocks have no easier challenge ahead of them than that of last year although with Fielding and Parmenter training with the England Master's squad, further experience has been gained and they could pull off one or two shocks and reach the latter stages of the tournament.

Squad: Bulger, Mellish, Storey, Abbott, Parmenter, Noble, Easter, Fielding.