The Cup Match Classic battle lines were officially drawn yesterday as the two club presidents went head-to-head at sponsor HSBC’s Harbourview headquarters.
Holders Somerset and St George’s are yet to reveal their 2014 squads, with both teams’ final trial matches and line-up announcements set for Saturday, July 26.
But that hasn’t stopped the barbs flying from east to west as both clubs do their best to at least win the pre-match verbal battle ahead of the real thing on July 31-August 1. After last year’s draw at St George’s, which saw Somerset retain the title, Somerset CC president Alfred Maybury has been hugely impressed with the young talent at his selectors’ disposal.
He is adamant, though, that his team claim the outright victory this time.
“We don’t want a draw, we want a victory,” he told the Bermuda Sun. “That is very important.”
He added: “We’re upbeat and ready. I think my selectors are going to have a challenge because we have a lot of talent at training this year.
“They will have a challenge looking at who to put in the team and what to put together.
“I don’t envy them but they know they have a job to do – their job is to pick the team that retains the trophy with a victory.”
Maybury’s counterpart at St George’s, meanwhile, believes his young side will have learnt valuable lessons from last year’s game, which saw them behind the eight-ball almost from the first ball.
Neil Paynter told the Sun: “I think last year we did have a young tem and we are in a rebuilding stage.
“We don’t have the Cup so we do have an opportunity to play with certain things. It was a learning experience not just for us but also for the players.
“So our younger players are one year wiser and I think with some senior experience we are only going to go from strength to strength.”