Following a rollercoaster 50-Overs season in which they finished fourth, Swamibapa A are ready to raise the bar in their title defense of Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Twenty20 Super Division League which begins on Sunday, January 28.
Skipper Rushabh Patel believes those who have written off the Swamis as potential titlists in the shorter version of the game may be forced to swallow their own words.
Rushabh: “There is always pressure going into a competition as defending champions as the big boys look at you as potential challengers. But after our peaks and valleys last year, some teams may underestimate us, but that would only give us a better edge if they come lightly.”
The Swamis will lock horns with Shree Cutch Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS YL A) in a match scheduled for Sunday 2pm at the Nairobi Jaffrey’s.
Swamis’ fixture will be preceded by a match pitting Stray Lions A against Sikh Union A at the same venue.
Ruaraka A (50 Over League champions) will kickstart their T20 campaign against Obuya A at their Thika Road backyard whilst Kanbis A will host Nairobi Gymkhana A at Eastleigh High.
Swamibapa A racked up a convincing 45-run victory against a much-revamped Sikh Union A outfit in the T20 League final under floodlights at Cutchi Leva in March 2023.
–Stray Lions Upbeat–
With consistent performance over the past few seasons, Stray Lions have managed to reach the “top of the heap” in NPCA competitions. In the forthcoming T20 League,
they’re making a number of changes to the team that will face Sikh Union. Stray Lions will field only one professional in last year’s 50 Overs top scorer Shubham Jadhav who hit an astounding 966-runs to his credit.
Thota Sreenivas, Vice Chairman NPCA and Chairman of Stray Lions said: “We are glad that Aman Gandhi is back from the UK and available for the entire T20 series. Tanzeel Sheikh is also back from injury.”
Former Gymkhana Captain Kavi Dosaja is delighted to re-occupy Obuya A’s top order alongside Steve Obuya and legend Collins Obuya.
Dosaja: “After a long break from cricket, I am overly excited to be back playing and hopefully contribute significantly towards the success of the Obuya side.”
The 50-Overs MVP Sachin Gill is in Ruaraka mix as well as the bulk of the players who helped the indefatigable Thika Road troops clinch their maiden league title in October last year.
Kanbis skipper Dhiren Gondaria confirmed their injured woes, adding: “I am not really sure about our batting orders as 2-3 main players are injured. We have a week to decide who to bring from the lower order to replace injured Hashi and Rakep Patel.”