Clubs to rethink line-ups as rule changes bite
BOWLING all-rounders are set to come into their own this summer following rule changes that now embrace the entire first XI structure of the Globe Sports West of England Premier League.
All games in all divisions are now 50-over a side encounters, with bowlers able to send down a maximum of ten overs. That brings the Bristol & Somerset and Bristol & North Somerset divisions into line with Premier One and Premier Two and, according to new Bedminster skipper Alex Tryfonos, will ensure plenty of considered debate at selection meetings.
He said: "Players, particularly bowling all-rounders, who weren't really in contention before are now very valuable to you as a captain.
"You maybe need to go out with seven guys in your side capable of bowling because if someone gets injured or has a bad day, then you have to have options."
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Bedminster have boosted their attack by signing left-arm Gloucestershire prospect Sam Stukes, while other new arrivals include Australian opener Sam Baird, former Downend all-rounder Ryan North and Ian Buchanan, from Minehead.
The Bristol & Somerset outfit also hope that being free of the demands of captaincy will allow Carter, a key member of the seam attack, to focus again on his batting, with proven performers such as Garreth Elphick and former Gloucestershire star Rob Cunliffe, who was appointed club coach during the winter, continuing to boost the top order.
It's back to the future for Winterbourne in the Bristol & North Somerset Division with Keith Ford appointed skipper and fellow veteran Phil Purnell his deputy.
Ford has coached and helped develop an outstanding crop of young players who are ready to make their mark at senior level.
This new generation includes Ford's son George, a promising all-rounder, and Purnell's son Marcus, a leg-spinner who bagged 24 victims in 11 outings before breaking his thumb last season.
Mike Donaldson, last season's leading run scorer in this division, continues as captain of Frenchay with South African all-rounder Tyrone Isitt, who made a formidable contribution with the bat as well as a table-topping haul of 51 wickets, back for a second season.
Claverham, again led by Henry Isack, have been boosted by the return to action of opener Richard Horton and the arrival of teenager Johannes Petrus van Aswegen, who was recommended by Somerset and South Africa great Jimmy Cook.
JP, as he's already known to his team-mates, scored a half-century on debut in a friendly at Bath and also took 2-16 in eight overs of leg-spin.
Prospects for play tomorrow when the league cricket season gets under way appear to be bleak.
Congresbury and Claverham decided on Wednesday to call off their first and second-team derby clashes in the WEPL's Bristol & North Somerset division because of hopelessly waterlogged conditions.
Most clubs have delayed making a decision on matches until tomorrow morning, but inspections will be academic at many saturated venues.