September 3, 2008

Jersey

Kirsten on Jersey

Will Luke

Tony Munro

The two best teams in the recent European Division Two tournament, undefeated Guernsey and Jersey, fittingly met in the final round of matches to decide the title (no final having been scheduled). Guernsey needed nine from three overs with six wickets in hand, yet Stuart Le Prevost, the Guernsey captain, was dismissed at the start of the 48th over. Two late run-outs, and Jersey were jubilant. Cricinfo spoke to the Jersey coach, Peter Kirsten, and Le Prevost, about the final, and the tournament in general





Peter Kirsten, the former South Africa batsman, and Jersey's coach © Getty Images
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Peter Kirsten
How are your nerves after the way Jersey secured the win?

PK: It was a memorable match, emotions ebbing and flowing continuously. I always felt though that if we could dismiss their main batsman even with them cruising at 170 for 3 we would still be in the match as he was beginning to look lazy (already dropped twice) and the Jersey spinners were bowling well. This is exactly what happened - three run-outs ensued due to panic and the spinners were always going to be difficult for new batsmen to handle under pressure. It was still very tight though and our fast bowlers were also able to bowl magnificently at the end. Nerves there were aplenty but our disciplines, belief & work ethic won through in the end.

Which aspect of the team's performance were you especially happy with?

PK: Since my term with Jersey cricket began on April 17 2008, we have trained according to various programs. These have included fitness and preparation, but also the introduction of promising youngsters in various positions, and the mantra of playing as a team and importantly developing a sound relationship with the captain and manager. Many of these aspects we executed well to remain unbeaten in the last six matches and have lost only 1 in the last 12 matches.

In which areas would you like to see Jersey improve for the ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament?

PK: The Tanzania tournament poses different challenges for Jersey. Firstly it is away from the Channel Islands - playing in Africa is vastly foreign to them - different wickets, climate and so on. However, they will be prepared as mentioned before and a solid, well composed team has been selected. Again some talented youngsters have been included which brings good energy to the squad. Physical fitness, strategy are key areas of our preparation during September.





Stuart Le Prevost, Guernsey's captain © thisisguernsey.com
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Stuart Le Prevost

How has Guernsey found the transition from playing against English domestic opposition such as in the Four Islands tournament, to playing the various Associates? Has it been good for the team's cricket?

SLP: Playing against the Associate members of the ICC has improved our game no end. We definitely up our game when we play better sides so it can only be good for us to keep punching at, and above, our weight rather than playing mediocre club sides on mini tours. I think we take more responsibility in tougher games which we need to transfer into every game at club and Island level.

Which aspect of your team's play during the tournament were you most pleased with?
SLP: I think our batting came good during the tournament (except for 20 minutes at the end of the last game). We had not performed well as a batting unit for the whole of the summer so we were under a bit of pressure in that department going into the tournament so it was pleasing to chase pretty well and also to set decent totals during the week.

Who would you say was your best batsman and bowler and why?
SLP: I think our best bowler was off-spinner Gary Rich. Rarely does he bowl badly and his economy rate is always good which creates pressure and in turn often ends in a decent wicket haul for him too.

Our most consistent batsman was Jeremy Frith. He is at home whether we are setting totals or chasing them down. His quick assessment of what is a good score on certain pitches often puts us exactly where we need to be.

Which player from the other teams most impressed you and why?
SLP: I think Jersey's Ryan Driver impressed me most. His allround game is very good and invariably if he plays well, Jersey play well. His century against us in the recent championship was well paced and he didn't give a chance. He also bows pretty accurately and has bucket hands.

Look out soon for our interview with the Gibraltar captain, Christian Rocca, and France coach, Dave Szumowski

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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