With last year’s Batsman of the Year winner Neil Culpan gone, the race for the individual title looks fierce as well.
Last year’s champions Laguna Cricket Club will look to defend their title against perennial contenders ICC and upset specialists TNT. Patong CC and the Village CC are also looking strong heading into the new season.
Let’s take a closer peek at what’s in store this season, which starts on November 18 at the Alan Cooke Ground.
Patong Cricket Club
Captain: Anthony Van Bleik
Key players: Richard Desmond (bowler), Sadarangani family
Patong CC is one of the founding members of the PCG and looking for another trophy to add to their case. The club has various members of the cricket-talented Sadarangani family at the helm and will look to utilise their offensive prowess to smother teams. Winning the title just two years ago, Patong CC longs for another day in the winner’s circle.
Laguna Cricket Club
Captain: Stuart Reading
Key players: Valentin Guiraud (all-rounder), Andrew Cole (batsman)
The reigning champions are looking strong heading into the new season. The team added some extra hardware during the off-season with an Outrigger T20 title just a few months back. Loss of personnel in key positions doesn’t look like it will slow this team down as the team look like clear favorites to be repeat champions.
Island Cricket Club
Captain: Anand Chand
Key players: Ali Khan (all-rounder), Anand Chand (all-rounder)
ICC will look to make some noise this year after coming in third last season. The deadly skills of captain Chand is something other teams need to constantly watch out for, as he is also a contender for the Batsman of the Year title. A perennial contender, ICC also climbed to the Outrigger T20 finals and played a strong match. ICC hopes to keep that momentum going into the new season.
Village Cricket Club
Captain: Kevin Quilty
Key players: Justin White (all-rounder), Craig Patterson (bowler)
They have raised their game over the years after their founding in 2007. Making it to the finals last year surprised many teams, but Village CC is keen to return to the finals again this year, especially with players like White and Patterson. Former Batsman of the Year Martin Foster (PCG’s second highest run scorer in one match) rounds out a talented offensive side.
Thanyapura News Tigers
Captain: Barrie Buck
Key players: Paul Lattimore (spin bowler), Barrie Buck (all-rounder)
TNT finished second to last in their first year last season but look much stronger heading into 2012-2013. The team could play the role of spoiler for others looking to get into the finals this year. Flying under the radar is never a bad thing, and TNT could use that advantage to pull off some upsets.