Aussie star insists refreshed March Town Cricket Club could challenge for title

MARCH Town’s overseas star Matt Wilcox has insisted that the cricket club has everything it takes to launch an audacious title challenge this season.

The Australian all-rounder claimed March’s reinforced squad could be set for a triumphant season as they prepare to begin their Tucker Premier Division One campaign by hosting newly-promoted Ickwell tomorrow.

Despite injury problems, Wilcox scored more than 1,700 runs and took over 40 wickets for March last season, helping to earn them a fourth-placed finish.

The 19-year-old said: “There’s a good feeling in the team and we’ve got some high hopes for the season. I honestly think that with the side we’ve got we can challenge for the title.

“Obviously coming over here I’m expected to perform. Everyone looks to you to lead a team which is a different role for me. There’s a bit more pressure but when you do well it’s fantastic.

“I think the club is in a bright place. I’m really impressed with the youngsters, coaching and the set-up as a whole. It’s a club that’s going places.”

March look to have assembled their strongest squad for years, with Cambridge MCCU pair Rob Woolley and Jivan Lotay joining Wilcox at The Avenue.

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Woolley averaged more than 50 with the bat for March last year, smashing successive centuries in his first two innings.

But this year he also intends to be a force with the ball, having opened the bowling for Cambridge University against Essex - and Ashes hero Alistair Cook - already this season.

Hard-hitting batsman Shardul Brahmbhatt will feature and teenage seamer Tyler Phillips - a player on the Cambridgeshire Emerging Players Scheme - is another exciting addition.

Wilcox said: “There’s going to be a lot of players in the seconds pushing for a place in the first team so competition for spots will be strong.

“March was my first club in England. I didn’t really know what to expect but the ground is one of the best I have played on and I love the overall environment at the club. I can’t speak highly enough of March.”

Wilcox scored 41 on Saturday as a Tommy Howgego hat-trick failed to help March avoid defeat in a friendly against Downham Town. Another knock of 35 on Sunday couldn’t stop March losing their opening Rutland League Division One game to Stamford Town.