Mid-Essex League Premier Division: Rainham CC captain Jas Hothi excited to renew acquaintances with Canvey Island

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 May 2018

The new cricket season is now upon us (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The new cricket season is now upon us (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The two clubs have recently faced each other in Division Two and Division One, but on Saturday they will meet as Premier Division teams

Rainham start life in the Mid-Essex League Premier Division on Saturday at home to old foes Canvey Island and captain Jas Hothi is excited about the new 2018 season.

The Spring Farm Park club earned promotion to the top flight last year by winning Division One and will be up against a familiar opponent this weekend.

Canvey and Rainham were both in Division One in 2016, when the former won the title, and two years prior to that they were in Division Two together, but now they will do battle as Premier teams.

“Before they went up two years ago, we had been going up through the leagues together, so they know all about us and we know all about them,” said Hothi.

“I do think we’ve probably improved since the last time we played each other, so hopefully we can show that this weekend.

“They have also showed you can go up to the Premier and do well. They have set the benchmark I think, so I want us to do the same this season and show we belong at this higher level.”

Rainham’s captain is not only pleased to be facing old rivals Canvey, who finished seventh in the Premier last season, on the opening day of the campaign, but he is also happy to be at home.

Hothi’s men turned Spring Farm Park into a fortress in 2017 and want to replicate that this year despite going up a division.

“We start at home which is great because we’ve generally always been strong at home and went unbeaten there last season,” said the opener.

“Obviously we want to start off with a win against Canvey and hopefully make Spring Farm Park a fortress again like it has been for a while.”

Rainham have been used to winning over the last couple of seasons, but this year will be a step up like never before and understandably nerves are present in the squad.

But Hothi is hopeful a few early wins can help everyone relax and settle into life at the top tier of Mid-Essex cricket.

He added: “There are no easy games in the Premier, but hopefully if we can start with a home win it will ease any potential nerves.

“We all can’t wait to get going, we’ve been waiting a long time for this, so we can’t wait to get out there.”

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