Preview: Cyprus Autumn Cricket League 2016
The autumn cricket season starts in early September, with a new format and two new teams.
Instead of the 40-overs per side win-or-lose format, this season’s matches will still be played over a total of 80 overs, but with a draw as a possible result if the team batting second falls short of its target but is not bowled out. The team batting first, unless bowled out, can decide when to declare its innings closed, up to a maximum of 45 overs. The remaining overs (from the 80 in the match) are available for the second team to bat. Both teams have an opportunity to go for a win, but if neither wins the points are shared.
Bonus points for batting and bowling are available to both teams.
For the full playing conditions click on the link. Team captains should enjoy the tactical choices they will have to make!
The teams are split into two groups (4 in Group A and 5 in Group B), with the top two in each group progressing to the semi-finals and then to the final in November.
In Group A new boys RAF Akrotiri will be an unknown quantity, though they have suffered a serious blow with a pre-season injury to their star player. Epi Lions appear to have strengthened and may surprise their opponents. Kazepis have lost some key players but still have some dangerous batsmen. Moufflons will be looking to improve with a good team spirit and some useful young players. So the group looks wide open.
Group B contains the other new team, Nicosia Tigers, who will be looking to make an instant impact. Sri Lankans perhaps did not do as well as they hoped in the spring T20, their first competition after a 4-year absence, and will be looking to improve. PWRR Dhekelia have a number of handy all-rounders and can give anyone a good game, especially with the advantage of playing at home. The other two teams in this group are the heavyweights, Mustangs, who won the most recent T20 and 40-over leagues, and Fellows, the 2014 winners, both of whom have lost some players but will surely still be strong.
An exciting tournament is in prospect!