Cann eyeing more runs for St George’s in Cup Match
Lionel Cann wants to carry on as Cup Match’s oldest present player for at least another year, although he admits he only has three weeks to impress the St George’s selectors.
Cann, now in his mid-40s, has not played a single game this season because of a knee injury he picked up playing in a Commercial League Masters Knockout football semi-final match for the St George’s Stallions.
Cann returned to training last night ahead of what he hopes will be his first match on Saturday when St George’s play Bailey’s Bay in the Cal Wade Memorial match, which will serve as a Cup Match trial.
“I haven’t retired, I still have the passion, and hopefully things go well and I can regain some form and my fitness,” Cann said.
“Like I always said the top players should be playing Cup Match and if I’m good enough then I’ll fight to retain my spot.”
Cann damaged the ligament on the inside of his knee (MCL) in March and could not finish the season as a football referee.
“Instead of getting surgery, which could have taken five or six month [to heal], I decided to let it take its natural course and just rest it,” he explained.
“I could have come back earlier but as I get older I wanted to make sure it was fully healed. Everybody, the players and the coach, has been updated on what’s going on.
“I get nervous watching from the sidelines, when I’m batting at least I’m in control. The goal last year was to get St George’s back up to the Premier Division and this year they have maintained a strong third place even though I haven’t had a chance to play.”
Cann made his debut in 1993 and is third on the aggregate run scoring list with 1,169 runs, his 25 not out in the second innings last year enabled him to surpass Wendell Smith’s 1,143 runs but, more importantly, helped St George’s avoid a crushing defeat at home.
The Cup Match excitement is starting to build with the match less than a month away. The two teams are now holding training sessions twice a week for players battling for places.
Cann added: “Obviously it’s Cup Match time and people you walk pass are saying ‘are you playing this year, are you ready?’ It reminds me of what Cup Match means. Even down at the club everything is about Cup Match.
“I’m glad the excitement is there, I hope it helps me get in better shape and form as quickly as possible.
“I don’t feel any pressure, I know what I have to do.”
n Somerset will be holding Cup Match training every Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 6.30pm.
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