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Cann ponders counties return

Lionel Cann could make a surprise return to the St David's team for the second round of the Eastern Counties on Saturday.

Cann, who hasn't played in the counties since 2010, has accepted an invitation to train with the team ahead of the game against holders Cleveland County.

“It's early days right now but they gave me an invitation,” Cann said. “I never retired from counties and got an invitation from the coach around Cup Match time.

“I'm a St David's man through and through and if they need me I'm available.”

Cann, 44, was recalled to the St George's Cup Match team two weeks ago and responded by scoring 45 in the first innings during a century partnership with Allan Douglas that rescued the team from deep trouble at 15 for four.

Carlton Smith, the Cleveland president, respects what St David's have accomplished this season in the league, but feels Cleveland could have the edge on Saturday with St David's missing four players from their league team, including OJ Pitcher, their captain, who is out injured.

St David's extended their winning streak to 11 matches in the league last weekend with an easy victory over Willow Cuts despite the absence of OJ Pitcher who is still recovering from a knee injury following a recent bike accident.

The team will also not be able to call on Dion Stovell, Kevin Hurdle, Allan Douglas and Ajuan Lamb who are all ineligible to play for them in the counties. George O'Brien took over the captaincy against Cuts in Pitcher's absence.

Stovell, in his first season with the St David's league team, is aiming to help them win trophies this season, but the Eastern Counties won't be one of them as he will turn out for Cleveland at Sea Breeze Oval as the holders look to extend their reign as champions.

Clay Smith, the Cleveland coach, who engineered that upset over St David's two years ago, will be missing as he is accompanying a Bermuda Cricket Board development team on a tour of England in his capacity as national team coach. Peter Philpott will fill in as the Cleveland coach.

“We definitely had a scare in the first round, but St David's have got their issues,” the Cleveland president said.

“Their league team has been dominant, but take four or five guys out and they are not the same team.”

Cleveland have had their own share of issues this season with the departure of Douglas and Treadwell Gibbons and the suspension of Jason Anderson, but Stovell's inclusion gives a major boost to both the batting and bowling.

“I was leaning towards taking the same team from the Flatts game, but with Isaiah [Creighton] coming back from England it provides an extra option,” Carlton Smith said of the young spinner who has been playing cricket in England, during the summer.

“I have seen an improvement in his overall attitude.”

One spot St David's have to fill is behind the stumps following the void left by Fiqre Crockwell, while Lamb is not eligible for them as he plays for Flatts in the counties. Chris Douglas is likely to be the choice as wicketkeeper.

Still got it: Cann showed at Somerset Cricket Club that he still belongs among the best (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 10, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 10, 2016 at 1:41 am)

Cann ponders counties return

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