Cann returns to lead St George’s
Lionel Cann is back for a third stint as captain of St George’s Cricket Club in Cup Match, The Royal Gazette can reveal, only a year after it appeared that his career at this level was over.
Dropped in 2018, the 46-year-old was contacted by St George’s in their search for a replacement for Macai Simmons, who left the East End club on the eve of the season for neighbours St David’s, effectively vacating the captain’s post.
It is understood that Cann was one of four persons interviewed for the position, including Rodney Trott, of Bailey’s Bay, George O’Brien, of St David’s, and club player Onias Bascome, the acting captain of the league team.
One of five batsmen to reach the 1,000-run milestone in Cup Match — behind Wendell Smith, Charlie Marshall, Janeiro Tucker and Clay Smith — Cann first captained the Cup Match team in 2006, winning on his debut before drawing the next three games and then standing down as captain.
He came back to lead the team in 2012 when incumbent Oronde Bascome was recovering from surgery. A ten-wicket defeat by Somerset that year was Cann’s only Cup Match loss as captain.
Bascome was back as captain the next year, when Cann passed 1,000 runs in his 31st Cup Match innings. In his previous appearance in 2017, Cann’s 25 not out in the second innings in a partnership of 46 with Trott for the sixth wicket not only helped save St George’s from defeat, but also enabled Cann to surpass Wendell Smith’s 1,143 runs and become the third-highest scorer behind Tucker and Marshall.
Cann’s appointment makes him one of the oldest players to be recalled to a Cup Match team, joining another St George’s player, Alec “Cocky” Steede, who was featured in 1949 when in his mid-forties.
Steede, whose career spanned 29 years between 1922 and 1951, was the first Cup Match bowler to take 100 wickets in the Annual Classic.
Marshall, the first player to score a century as a colt, ended his Cup Match career in 2009 at the age of 48, which also spanned 29 years after his debut in 1980. He made 27 appearances while Steede appeared 26 times.
Cann’s Cup Match career will span 26 years with this year’s match, having made his debut in 1993. He returned to St David’s this season and was appointed captain of the 50-overs games, including for the Eastern Counties Cup, after the sudden resignation of Chris Douglas.
Cann played a key role last year when St David’s reclaimed the Eastern Counties title against Cleveland County, scoring 62 as St David’s won by three wickets in the final at Sea Breeze Oval. It was his 50th county appearance.
• St George’s will play a trial match against Bailey’s Bay on July 6 at Sea Breeze Oval starting at 10am. The match will also serve as a warm-up for Bay, who face St David’s in the Eastern Counties first round on July 20.
• The national squad that is in training for the ICC Americas T20 World Cup Qualifier in August will play an inter-squad match at Somerset Cricket Club tonight at 7pm.
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