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Stovell rules out return to Rangers

Staying put: St David's batsman Dion Stovell

Dion Stovell has put an end to transfer speculation, emphatically declaring: “I’m a St David’s player as of now.”

The all-rounder had been linked with a potential move back to former league club Southampton Rangers next season. However, when contacted Stovell said nothing could be further from the truth.

“I have signed with St David’s and I told them that I’m not here for one season,” Stovell said. “I’m a St David’s player as of now and to be honest with you I will probably be there for the next year or two.”

The early-order batsman and off spinner reaffirmed his commitment with the East Enders just days after smashing a whirlwind century against them while playing as a guest player for former team Rangers in Sunday’s Champion of Champions final at Southampton Oval.

Batting at No 4, Stovell smashed an unbeaten 137 and featured in two century partnerships as Rangers recovered from a shaky start to go on to post a formidable 339 for six in their 50 overs.

The total proved too steep for St David’s, the Logic Premier Division and Eastern Counties champions, who were dismissed for a paltry 110 in 23.5 overs.

Stovell, who plays for Cleveland County in the Eastern Counties, admitted he had mixed emotions over his match-winning knock.

“It was a good innings but it was bittersweet,” he said. “I haven’t made too many runs for St David’s, which is unfortunate.

“But it’s cricket and it happens. Any given day you make runs and any given day you don’t, and it just happened that I made runs on that day.

“It was a good batting track and I just felt good. I played every ball on its merit and it just turned out that I got 137.”

Stovell led a fightback after Western Counties champions Rangers slipped to 62 for three in the fourteenth over, blasting 16 boundaries and four sixes, to put the home team in full control. He added 102 for the fourth wicket with Ricardo Brangman, who made 41, and a further 104 for the sixth wicket with Janeiro Tucker, the Rangers captain. Tucker, who chipped in with 68, praised Stovell for his masterful innings.

“Dion’s innings was class,” said Tucker, Cup Match’s most prolific batsmen. “Dion is the best batsman in Bermuda.”

Stovell’s century arrived in his first match back from a training camp in Toronto with the Bermuda squad.

“Obviously you are getting exposed to better bowling in international cricket than what you would face in Bermuda,” he said. “I played a couple of games in Canada and felt pretty good so I guess that training camp in Canada paid off.

“You have to concentrate more on the international stage because you are not going to get as many bad balls in an over. You might get one or two, which you have to capitalise on, but the other four may be good balls where you still have to score.”

n The Bermuda Cricket Board will be offering both ICC Level 1 and Level 2 coaching courses in November.

English and Wales Cricket Board certified trainers Rich Hall, a county performance coach, and Dan Feist, the head of cricket operations at Surrey County Cricket Club, will be delivering both courses.