FRIDAY, JULY 20: This Cup Match it is more important than ever before that sportsmanship and the true spirit of cricket prevail.
The recent descent of our national game has been sad to witness and some of the on field behaviour has been simply disgusting.
But I, for one, will not tolerate that kind of attitude or disrespect to be shown by any of my players.
I am a no nonsense captain and I will not hesitate to send a player off the field if they have been rude or disrespectful and play with 10 players.
I have done it before and I will do it again if I have to.
Cup Match is the biggest event of the year in many ways, but that does not mean that all the rules about what is acceptable behaviour should be thrown out of the window and forgotten.
It is a spectacle when two sides will go at each other hard and try to win.
But this year, perhaps more than any previous year, the contest has the chance to show people who have grown disillusioned with the sport of cricket what it means and the spirit in which it should be played.
As players it is our chance to stand up this year and set an example.
In many ways it does not matter who wins over the two days — whether it is St George’s or Somerset — it is much more important that sportsmanship and the spirit shines through.
The umpires will do their best but cricket is a game when sometimes decisions go with you and sometimes they go against you.
We must show the game and the officials respect and just get on with it.
As for our preparations; things are looking good for St George’s.
We have had a good turn out of around 25 guys at each session so far and the players still have two training sessions, a trial game and a match for their clubs to prove they are worthy of a place on the team.
It’s getting exciting and there is a great buzz about the game now.
I have enjoyed the extra responsibility of captaincy; the interviews and everything that comes with the job.
It does take a lot of your time up but at the end of the day I am representing not just the team but also the community and that is a huge honour.
I believe my experience over the years will help to guide and hopefully inspire some of the younger players and bring the cup back to St George’s.
But this year it is about the guys taking part in this contest setting an example of how to behave on a cricket pitch and living up to the spirit of this great game.