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Stovell to captain Cleveland

Respected in Cleveland: Stovell will lead the cup holders against Flatts tomorrow (Photograph by Nicola Muirhead/File)

Cleveland County have turned to Dion Stovell to captain the team tomorrow against Flatts Victoria in the absence of Allan Douglas Jr who is serving a two-game suspension.

Stovell, who previously captained Southampton Rangers, got the nod over another senior player, Jason Anderson, after Cleveland were also left without the services of Dennis Musson Jr, the vice-captain, who is serving a one-game suspension.

Douglas is serving a two-match Eastern Counties ban for two counts of showing serious dissent to an umpire’s decision during the first round game against Bailey’s Bay, while Musson is also banned for showing serious dissent. Both Stovell and Anderson were charged with Level 1 offences of showing dissent and received reprimands after their behaviour in a game which ended in controversial fashion.

“It was between him [Stovell] and Jason [Anderson] but he’s more seasoned, he’s done it for Rangers and has played more county games than Jason. This is only Jason’s second year,” said Carlton Smith, the Cleveland president, who is filling in as coach in the absence of Clay Smith who is abroad with the Bermuda youth team.

“The issue might be him as a guest player being captain, but he played a lot of his youth cricket down here and grew up with a lot of these guys before he moved back up to Warwick. He’s well respected by the boys.”

Stovell and Anderson played pivotal roles in ending Cleveland’s 33-year wait to win the cup last season in the thrilling victory over St David’s. Anderson was named man-of-the-match for scoring 76 on his debut and taking three catches, while Stovell scored an unbeaten 82.

The Southampton Rangers batsman then scored a flawless 102 in the next game against Bailey’s Bay, helping Cleveland retain a cup they may well have lost if bad weather had not intervened.

Cleveland, who selected their team last night, were also expected to recall Aaron Adams, batsman Mishael Paynter of St George’s and spin bowler Hasan Durham of Southampton Rangers in place of the suspended trio.

Meanwhile, Flatts have made four changes to last year’s team that was soundly beaten by Cleveland, bringing in colts Dornielle Farrell, Lovintz Tota and Ajuan Lamb of Devonshire Rec, while recalling veteran bowler Ryan Belboda of Southampton Rangers.

Missing from last year’s team are Azeem Pitcher, Che Woolridge, Dajon Carey and Regino Smith who has returned to school abroad.

Flatts were well beaten last year, with Cleveland bowling them out for just 57 in 20.1 overs, and winning the game by 2.30pm. The two teams agreed to play a second innings to give the spectators value for money, a humiliation Flatts will be hoping to avoid tomorrow.

Kijuan Franks is this season’s captain, replacing Cofield Robinson who captained the team as a colt last year. Robinson retains his place in a team that also includes Temiko Wilson, the Western Stars wicketkeeper-batsman, and Vernon Eve of Southampton Rangers.

Flatts: Kijuan Franks, Reggie Baker, Temiko Wilson, Cofield Robinson, Ajuan Lamb, Dornielle Farrell, Logan Phillips, Lovintz Tota, Nelson Bascome, Vernon Eve, Ryan Belboda. Reserves: Callan Woolridge, Adio Robinson.