Aces abroad - part 5
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Jeet in action for the Aces
With the Champions League dates now confirmed, the Aces squad can step up their preparations for the qualifying event beginning on the 19th September.
For Jeet Raval - a regular in the four day side, but as yet to crack the T20 team - the message to the selectors is simple "I'm ready".
Jeet is currently enjoying success in the UK playing for West Bromwich Dartmouth, and is working hard on his all-round game in hopes he can force his way onto the plane for India.
"At Auckland we have a strong squad and the success the boys have had speaks for itself, but anything could happen. Some of the players have English county sides who may qualify and there could be some injuries. I'm working as hard as I can on my fitness, my bowling and fielding, as well as my batting to make sure I'm prepared should the selectors call. If I get picked I will be ready and look forward to the challenge".
The extra work appears to be paying off as Jeet has already taken 16 wickets at just 20 a piece, while amassing 333 runs at nearly 50 in just eight games so far. Form that has helped his club into the top three of a competitive Birmingham League.
"The club got promoted from the second division last season and they were expecting a tough challenge, but we had a great start and capped that off with a victory over the top side last week, which has set a high benchmark.
"This is my first time in the UK and the club have been great to me. I feel like I have a second family here now and it is a big goal of mine to help this club to the title".
While Raval has had overseas experience in the past with the New Zealand Emerging Players he is really feeling the benefits of his first full 'winter season'.
"It's just good to be outdoors in match situations. If I was back home I could be indoors and training hard but nothing beats competition and this is a great challenge. I'm trying to gain as much knowledge as I can and it will stand me in good stead for the future".
What do you like most about England?
I've been to London and loved it there. The lifestyle, there is so much to do, the transport system is great just a really good place.
What do you dislike about England?
Probably a boring answer but got to be the weather. It was 30 degrees here one day last week, then down to 12 or 13 the next.
What do you do in your spare time whilst in England?
There's about 8 or 9 of us out here from back home. We've caught up a lot and had a few matches against some local sides to get as much game practise as possible.
What is the first thing you will do when you get back to Auckland?
First I will see my family, then I will head straight to Suburbs New Lynn and catch up with all the boys down there.
Now for a quick look at our the other Aces are doing for their respective clubs in the UK:
Lou's Sussex side have dropped one spot to third in the Friends Life T20 South Division after two defeats and two washouts. But before that Lou starred in a victory over Middlesex striking 44 from just 32 balls.
Jimmy's Hampshire side are still flying at the top of the South Division with eight wins and just one defeat so far. The highlight for Jimmy being 47 from 41 balls in a victory over Muttiah Muralithran's Gloucestershire. Jimmy also struck a half century in Hampshire's county championship fixture against Worcestershire.
Nottinghamshire are currently top of the North Division with Andre now a part of the side after being rested in the early stages. Notts also played a championship game recently but suffered defeat at the hands of Lancashire. Andre, however continued his explosive batting form and appeared to be still in T20 mode. In the first innings he struck 43 from 27 balls with no fewer than five 6's then followed that up in the second innings with 52 from 51 with a further three maximums.
Martin led Derbyshire to a four day victory over Glamorgan with a crucial 72 ball 70 with time running out on the final day. In the T20 Guptill's side sit just outside the top four with six games to play. Derby's form was disappointing before Guptill arrived but a match winning 72 against Warwickshire helped steer the season in the right direction and they will now be hoping to qualify for the quarter finals.
Things just keep getting better for Jimmy at Upminster. Since the last update Jimmy has made scores of 95 and 48 not out which sees his season run tally break the 800 mark from just 12 games. He has also chipped in with six wickets in this period as Upminster sit third on the ladder.
Bates side Colwyn Bay have had mixed fortunes in the last fortnight with two victories and a defeat. Bates bowled unchanged returning figures of 4-75 in the victory against Hightown and picked up 3-49 against Northern. Bates' side are currently in second position as the season passes the halfway stage.
Brad has found some form for Bradninch CC making a half century at the top of the order last weekend on a victory over Paignton.