Japan coach confident ahead of Guernsey tournament
Japan coach Richard Laidler is hopeful that his side can do well in the World Cricket League Division 7 tournament which gets underway on Sunday in Guernsey.
“I am looking forward to coming back to the Channel Islands. It is always exciting to play in international competition as we don’t get much recognition in Japan,” said Laidler. “To give the boys a chance to show how cricket is a global sport is fantastic and we are looking forward to playing in the event. I really hope we can finish first or second and go into Division 6. After playing in Jersey last year we had a chance to understand the standard that we are actually up against and we know what we will have to come up against.”
Laidler admitted that Afghanistan’s recent success, having risen from Division 5 last year to gaining ODI status in the recent ICC World Cricket League, was a great inspiration to Associate and Affiliate members.
“It is a fantastic story and the competition is really well done by the ICC as it does give teams a chance to go up the rankings. Being from the EAP region we used to only play against the same teams, but we are now getting an opportunity to play against everybody, and that gives you a lot of encouragement if you want to play better teams,” said Laidler.
Having played in similar conditions at the Division 5 event last year in Jersey, Laidler is hopeful that his side can learn from its experiences and apply them to the pitch conditions it will face in Guernsey.
“I am expecting Guernsey’s facilities to be as good or even better than Jersey. We learnt quite a bit about the wickets last year, as we are used to playing on harder wickets, while the wickets over there were a bit slower and held up a bit. We know what we are up against now.”
Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo