Ajuan Lamb set to face club team St David’s in Eastern Counties
Ajuan Lamb will be feeling a new type of pressure when he turns up at Lord’s this morning to play for challengers Flatts in the first round of the Eastern Counties against holders St David’s.
For one, he can expect some funny looks from St David’s fans and will have to remind himself when he heads to the changing room that he is not welcome in the St David’s one.
That’s because the St David’s-born batsman, who plays his league cricket for the club, can play in the Eastern Counties only for Flatts after his decision to play for them in 2015 against holders Cleveland at Lord’s.
Lamb has played three times in the Eastern Counties, including in 2016 against Cleveland at Sea Breeze Oval and 2017 against Bailey’s Bay at Lord’s. But today’s match will certainly be a special one for the 33-year-old.
“I’ve been taking some licks since my first game for Flatts,” Lamb said. “What it was, around that time Fiqre [Crockwell] and ‘Lenny’ [Landro Minors] were still alive, I was training year in and year out and never making the team and had been staying in Flatts with my aunt for about 15 years and just decided to go and play for Flatts.”
Crockwell and Minors were key players for St David’s at the time and both lost their lives at the height of their careers, Minors in November 2011 and Crockwell in June 2016.
“I couldn’t really make the team then, just being impatient,” Lamb added. “It was one of my worst decisions as a cricketer.”
Lamb will be back in St David’s colours tomorrow when they play St George’s in a crucial Premier Division match at the same venue.
He is hoping to be a strong contender for a spot in the St George’s Cup Match team at the end of the month.
“I’ve played in three county matches but never against St David’s,” he said, not knowing quite what to expect.
“It is what it is. I’ve got a St David’s gear bag but I can’t even take it with me.”
Cousin Eddie Lamb appreciates the traditions of the Eastern Counties and is looking forward to the match, even hoping his cousin does well.
“He lived in Flatts and they picked him and St David’s didn’t pick him,” he said.
“In fact, the day he played his first county for Flatts, I went out on to the middle of the field when he was going out to bat — he was opening up for them — and I hugged and kissed him right in front of all those people.
“I said ‘look man, I would rather you be playing for St David’s as a Lamb but playing county cup is an honour no matter who you are playing for, so do well’. We’re close, he’s like a son to me.
“Eastern Counties is all about family and we all have our individual loyalties. While the ‘billy bie’ is playing for Flatts, he’s representing the Eastern Counties in the big scheme of things.
“I hope he individually gives a good account of himself, but not so good that he takes the cup from me.”
St David’s have named two colts, teenager Isaiah O’Brien and Drewonde Bascome, who plays for Devonshire Rec, and is the son of former footballer Andrew Bascome.
OJ Pitcher has recovered from a shoulder injury that sidelined him last weekend, while St David’s have included Chris Douglas, of Somerset, and Macai Simmons, of St George’s, along with Seth Campbell, of Western Stars.
Dajon Carey will captain the Flatts team, with Keegan Jones their only colt while veteran bowler Kevin Hurdle has been recalled. Kamau Leverock, the Bermuda captain, did not return from England to play for the challengers like he did last year.
St David’s: Justin Pitcher (captain), George O’Brien, Chris Douglas, OJ Pitcher, Macai Simmons, Drewonde Bascome (colt), Dean Simons, Seth Campbell, Ricardo Brangman, Cejay Outerbridge, Isaiah O’Brien (colt). Reserves: Iyuan Smith. Sa-Qui Robinson, Shaquille Pitcher, Jyus Dill.
Flatts: Dajon Carey (captain), Cofield Robinson, Kijuan Franks, Reggie Baker, Regino Smith, Kevin Hurdle, Logan Jones, Ajuan Lamb, Keegan Jones (colt), Nekoda Bascome, Nelson Bascome. Reserves: Shane Robinson, Che Woolridge, Swadesh Gund.
• The Bermuda Police Service have promised an increased police presence in St David’s for the Eastern Counties, including stop checks and parking restrictions.
Chief Inspector Scott Devine of the Community Policing Division said: “This may mean vehicle stop checks across the eastern area, so members of the public are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to head to their destination as there may be some minor delays in order to facilitate these stop checks.
“For spectators’ information, ‘no parking’ restrictions have been put in place on Cashew Road. ‘No parking’ signs and cones will be placed in the restricted areas.
“If unable to park on the field, attendees are asked to park their vehicles in a responsible manner and not block the surrounding roadways for local residents and emergency vehicles requiring access.”
• The penultimate round of Premier Division matches, as well as the second round of First Division play-off matches will be played tomorrow.
League leaders St David’s face St George’s at Lord’s while Bailey’s Bay, second, are at home to Somerset.
Willow Cuts host Southampton Rangers at Somerset in the other match.
In the First Division, Cleveland and Flatts, will meet at Wellington Oval, while Warwick take on Western Stars at Southampton Oval and Somerset Bridge play PHC at White Hill Field.