Upminster captain Ison says Essex League deserve huge credit

PUBLISHED: 12:32 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 17 July 2020

Upminster's Alan Ison (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Upminster's Alan Ison (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Upminster captain Alan Ison insists the Essex League deserve ‘huge credit’ for creating a new competition for them to play a mini nine-week season in 2020.

Alan Ison of Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Alan Ison of Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

A competitive league season will run from July 18 until September 12 and a T20 competition will also be staged, but the League Cup will not be held this year after missing out on months of action due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Premier Division line-up remains the same but other divisions have been redrawn on regional lines, which affects Upminster.

“It’s different, playing against four second teams, so it will be very different to what we’re used to normally playing, but I think we’ve got to give the Essex League a lot of credit to be fair,” said Ison.

“They’ve set up something in a short time frame and something that will work for the next nine weeks. They deserve some credit as some of the leagues obviously boycotted it and are not playing for the rest of the season whereas Essex have made a massive effort and got us games to play.

“Regardless of what league we’re in, we’ve still got cricket to play at such a competitive level.”

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Upminster travel to Harrow Lodge on Saturday to take on a Hornchurch 2nd XI in their first league contest of the season.

“It won’t be the same as it was years ago when we were playing against Paul Murray, Glen Noller, and the rivalry is not as big as it was historically, it’s died down a lot now,” added Ison.

“We all get on quite well, so I’m not really sure who they’ve got in their second team as I’ve not played against them before, but it will be interesting to see if they have any old faces that I’ve played against when I was young lad growing up.”

Upminster beat Orsett & Thurrock by 183 runs in a friendly last weekend, as Ison revealed they have lost Shabaz Khan this season but added some new talent in 14-year-old Callum Berry.

“It’s a good opportunity to give youngsters a go and see how they get on at first team level,” he added.

“We played Orsett away on Saturday and we had quite a good team out as well, almost a full strength team, we were missing John Curtis.

“It was good to have the lads back together and back playing after a long summer, seeing the sun out, but not be able to play, so it was good to be back.”

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