Atchinson’s confident North London can push for promotion without overseas player
14:57 30 June 2014
Max Flego Sports Photography
North London captain Jack Atchinson is confident his side can mount a promotion push in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League despite their failure to sign a new overseas player.
NL made enquiries about a replacement for South African all-rounder Anees Davids, who returned home at the start of June to look after his sick mother.
Atchinson admits the Crouch End club are now unlikely to make another overseas signing this season, but he believes the existing group of players are capable of rising to the challenge of a push for the top two.
“We did have discussions with a few people, but a lot of the best overseas players are taken now,” said the NL skipper. “It looks increasingly likely that we’re not going to get one.
“There’s a lot of red tape involved and we’re almost halfway through the season, so you have to question whether it’s worthwhile at this stage.
“In a way that’s no bad thing – the group that are here have to step up and take responsibility and we’re prepared for that. We’ve done it before without overseas players and we’ll do it again.
“We’re going to need a good second half of the season, but I’ve got enough faith in the boys. We wouldn’t be playing if we didn’t feel we could push up towards the higher end of the table.”
North London remain sixth in the table after staving off defeat at Kenton on Saturday, largely thanks to a gutsy rearguard action from tailenders Ted Greally and Freddie Issitt.
Greally lasted 41 balls without scoring, while Issitt (6 not out) remained undefeated as he and Chris Cropley (1no) ushered their side to a losing draw at 81-9 from 39 overs.
Atchinson won the toss, opted to field and Cropley (2-33) picked up the early wicket of Schopun Jooma (16), while Rishi Toor (2) was run out by Matt Hoyle before the heavens opened.
The stoppage appeared to upset NL’s rhythm as Deepak Singh (57), Ashish Karia (49) and Ankit Shah (41) guided the home side to 205-7 declared from 42 overs, with Greally recording figures of 3-31.
In reply, NL struggled to cope with Kenton duo Yousuf Yakub (4-23) and Mohammed Amir (3-8), while veteran spinner Sami Haider weighed in with figures of 2-6 from nine overs.
Opener Peter Monar top scored with 27, but Rosh Tennakoon (13) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as North London slid into deep trouble.
Greally came to the rescue, thwarting the Kenton bowlers for a prolonged duck before Issitt and Cropley saw out the last few overs to clinch a point for their side.
Atchinson added: “We just didn’t turn up with the bat, but our tail did the job in the end.
“It was a good effort from Ted, shutting up shop for 40 balls, and young Freddie Issitt, who batted out of his skin. That’s another game unbeaten and it’s important to get the momentum going.”