Raj Singh sets sights on Two Counties top three finish in Haverhill Cricket Club's return to Division One
New Haverhill bowler Raj Singh has set his sights on the highest of targets this season, with the former East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) seamer claiming anything but a top three finish would be ‘disappointing’.
The 27-year-old will take to the field at Manor Road on Saturday (12.30pm) as Haverhill host Ipswich in their first match back in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship. They were promoted last season.
And Singh, who switched from EAPL side Cambridge in the off-season, thinks the team can again compete at the top with at least three of the squad already proven at EAPL-standard.
“I think 100 per cent the team can win the league this season,” Singh, who briefly played for Haverhill as a 19-year-old in 2011, said. “They are definitely talented enough, there’s so much ability and youth as well.
“But we need to get off to a good start; momentum is such a key thing in cricket.
“I really think we have a great chance of finishing top three at the very least, in fact, it would be disappointing to not finish in a top spot.
“It might be a high target to set, but that’s what you need to believe you are capable of. If you don’t aim for the top, you won’t reach it.
“And with Luke (Youngs) and Mark (Barrell), as well as the experience of Adam (Dellar), there really is a lot of quality in the side.”
He said the target, while ambitious, was not a flight of fancy with what he had seen in the winter nets, as the side have worked hard in preparation for their return to Division One cricket.
“Everyone has looked really good and Adam, in particular, has been knocking the ball about,” he said. “I think he’s going to have a great season.”
Singh was unavailable for Sunday’s six-wicket friendly win over Little Bardfield Village due to selection for the Cambridgeshire Minor Counties side, in their friendly against Cambridge University.
Haverhill (184-4) beat Little Bardfield Village (181-6) by six wickets, with nine overs to spare, to bode well for this weekend.
Club captain Anthony Phillips enjoyed a knock of 80 not out, with Jamie Boulton hitting 61 and Will Bailey on 20 not out.
Phillips said: “The club are in good shape and there’s still a bit of a buzz after such a great year. We netted well over the winter and carried that into the friendly.
“Division One is where we should be and I think we’re more than capable of competing in the league.
“We have more experience behind us. We are a young team getting older together – with a massive boost from having players like Raj and Luke in our ranks.
“We haven’t played Ipswich in a little bit so we’re not sure what to expect but that doesn’t really matter, we will still go into it as prepared as we can be.
“The boys are just looking forward to playing cricket.”