St George’s colts Brian Hall and Azendé Furbert ready for big match
St George’s newest players Azendé Furbert and Brian Hall are eager to help their side wrestle the Cup Match trophy from Somerset.
Hall, whose phone has been buzzing since the team’s announcement in the early hours of last Sunday, has been left wondering if his circle of friends care more about him playing Cup Match than his birthday.
“My birthday was on July 27 and I turned 31,” he said.
“I didn't get as many messages for my birthday as for actually getting picked to play Cup Match, not even close,’’ Hall said.
“It just shows the heritage, the culture of this competition and how people feel about Cup Match and how it brings everyone together. The complete hype about it, everybody just loves the game.
“Its definitely been my goal but It didn't really hit me that I had a chance for Cup Match until the final trial was over. That's when I realised I could get picked. I want to play Cup Match every year until I cant play cricket any more.
With the St George’s announcement only coming after 2am on Sunday, Hall, who was a Colts Cup winner with Somerset, tried his best to wait at the club.
“I was lying down on the back of a trailer outside the club, hoping that I could find out if I am in the team or not,’’ he said.
“I was getting tired and by the time I got home, they had a live stream and the first thing I heard was my name and that's when I got really pumped up. The feeling for making the St George’s squad for Cup Match is something I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid.
“I’ve been focusing on my game, trying to play responsible cricket and aggressive cricket at the same time. The guys are looking to dethrone Somerset, but if not we will just keep pushing along and fighting right to the end.
“It’s pretty hard for me, especially with owning a business as I have work commitments on top of cricket. Luckily this year everything paid off, I could make it to cricket training and show my commitment to the team.
Having been a spectator over the years, Hall reckons he has figured out where St George’s have been getting it wrong in their attempts to topple Somerset.
“They might have been a little bit over aggressive at the start of Cup Match and I believe it’s all about building the momentum,’’ Hall said.
“You want to start a good foundation and you go forward from there. I think being a bit over aggressive put St George’s on the back foot a few times in Cup Match in the past few years.”
Opening batsman Furbert believes his Cup Match debut would have come years ago had he not halted his cricket career to focus on his studies and football, with the 25-year old also representing Bermuda as a defender.
“Of course I am excited and it’s a big opportunity for me to showcase what I've worked hard for,’’ Furbert said.
“It was a long time coming. I stopped playing cricket for a few years and I feel like I could have probably made Cup Match a little sooner because I did play county at 13. This year, I made sure that I put my head down and train really hard, and obviously people have seen the results of being dedicated.
“I am looking to bat well, see off the shine of the ball and be there for as long as possible to give us a good total. As far as fielding, I have a lot of energy, so I am probably going to be close up on the bat and hungry for any chances that come.
“The coach [Clay Smith] has seen me from my youth days as he was my national coach, so he knows how I am and how I treat sport as a whole. I actually played for the football national team, but cricket was always my favourite sport when I was younger, so I felt that I had to come back and enjoy it again.”