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Skipper Pitcher out for the season

Premier 50 over champs St David’s will be without the services of skipper OJ Pitcher during the upcoming cricket season.

The top all-rounder has put his cricket career on hold in order to make up for lost time from studies abroad in Florida.

Pitcher was forced to take a leave of absence from studies late last year just prior to the death of his mother.

His absence from the team is sure to make an impact as the Islanders bid to defend their league title this summer.

“OJ is always a vital part of the team and his absence will make an impact,” said St David’s stalwart Sammy Robinson. “We will miss him.”

The Islanders have also lost the services of top order bat Landro Minors and master blaster Lionel Cann.

Cann has transferred to First Division whipping boys Warwick where he will serve as player/coach while Minors was killed in a traffic accident last November.

“They are a big miss,” Robinson said. “Lionel is explosive with the bat and his experience helps to keep us focused together with the information he gives us. And then Landro gives us a lot with the bat and on the field. His presence alone in the changing room will be missed.”

The Islanders managed to pick up a few players during the transfer period that could go some way towards compensating for their losses.

Among the new arrivals at Lords are wicketkeeper/batsman Chris Foggo, all rounder Rudell Pitcher, seasoned batsman Clay Smith and seam bowler Ricky Foggo.

Son of the soil Chris Foggo has returned following a stint at PHC while Pitcher, Smith and Foggo have joined from nearby St George’s.

Robinson believes those coming into the squad have much to offer.

“Chris can make up for the loss of OJ while Rudell can bowl and bat lower down the order,” he said. “Ricky can also bowl and is quick in the field while Clay’s experience will be vital if he does play with us.”

Smith is no stranger to Lords having guided St David’s to league honours during a previous coaching stint at the club that is set to rejoin the Eastern Counties competition following a two-year hiatus.

The Islanders will defend their Premier 50 overs title in a new-look, six-team division this summer that also includes Bailey’s Bay, Devonshire, Willow Cuts, Southampton Rangers and newly promoted Cleveland County.

Despite the changes to the squad, Robinson is optimistic the Islanders can defend their crown this summer.

“We just have to be focused,” he said. “Last year we were very focused on winning the league, and so I’m hoping this year we are just as focused because it’s going to be harder with only six teams. Players have transferred to other teams making every team stronger and with the people we have lost makes it that much harder.”

OJ Pitcher will miss the upcoming cricket season through school commitments Photo by Glenn Tucker

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Published April 12, 2012 at 9:13 am (Updated April 12, 2012 at 9:13 am)

Skipper Pitcher out for the season

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