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Relegation will be a blessing, says Basden

Dexter Basden, the Willow Cuts player-coach, has put a positive spin on his team's relegation to the First Division.

The former Premier Division powerhouse suffered the drop after losing against Western Counties rivals Southampton Rangers at Southampton Oval at the weekend.

“It [relegation] will be a blessing for us because we can regroup,” Basden said.

“If we can win some games in the First Division next season then we can at least enjoy the cricket. Once you enjoy cricket then you perform better.”

It is now anticipated that Cuts will lose a handful of their talented youngsters to local rivals Somerset Cricket Club.

“We are going to lose about four players but when one door closes another opens and Cuts will always have a team,” Basden said.

“I'm only concerned about some of the youngsters that may go because we have already lost Azhar Morrisey who came up through our youth programme to Somerset. Micah Simons is on his way up there and I won't be surprised if Soloman Burrows goes there as well.”

Basden said a heavy emphasis will be placed on home-grown talent during the rebuilding process.

“In the past several years we have had players like Malachi Jones, George O'Brien, Chris Foggo, Chris Douglas and Ricardo Brangman,” he added.

“But now it's time for us to go back to our roots and pick from players that have come up through the youth programme once we get it up and running again. We took a season off this year but we will have it back next season.”

Cuts' relegation marked the end of an era in which the club finished runners-up in the top flight twice and were declared Knockout Cup champions after Somerset forfeited the final.

“We wanted to win the league title but that didn't happen,” Basden said. “But we had some fun and put Willow Cuts on the map.”

Cuts' relegation was confirmed before the outcome of their match with Rangers.

“We found out that Cleveland won [against Western Stars] shortly after I got out,” Basden said.

“But regardless of that we just wanted to win the game because we have so much talent in the team and coming up short week after week hurts.”

A depleted Cuts, who fielded with nine players for most of the Rangers innings, suffered an 18-run defeat against their opponents after being in a strong position chasing a target of 259.

Basden (68) and all-rounder Dean Stephens (119) added 147 for the fourth wicket to lay solid foundations for the run chase.

But a late collapse in which Cuts lost their remaining five wickets for 35 runs in the space of five overs, left them short of the finish line.

“Dean and myself paved the way and the stage was set for us to win the match,” Basden said. “I gave it everything I had and Dean batted splendidly.

“After the game we were sort of hurt because every time we play Rangers we have them in a chokehold but let them out.

“We had them 83 for five and Janeiro [Tucker] out cheap, but that's how it goes sometimes.”

Need to regroup: Basden is confident Cuts will bounce back

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Published August 30, 2016 at 9:25 am (Updated August 30, 2016 at 9:40 am)

Relegation will be a blessing, says Basden

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