The 2017 season is now underway, and it is fair to say that there is change in the air at Wembley CC with 4 of the five captains having changed. As part of this change I will be interviewing a different Wembley player or official each week to get their insight into our great club and the memories they have amassed over the years. They will also be picking their #One2Eleven. Who best to start with than the newly appointed first team captain, Chirag Amin.
1) Firstly, congratulations on becoming the new 1st XI captain. What made you take up the 1st XI captaincy and has it always been an ambition of yours?
Thank you. Looking around with a lot of people leaving the club, there weren’t too many other candidates so I thought it was time for me to take responsibility and push myself to become captain, I have always wanted to captain a side whether it was the 2nd or the 1st XI.
2) What is the goal for this season?
My goal for this season is to get promoted back to the 2nd division. Most of the team are of the same age and grew up playing and winning together through the colts setup. The lads are a very talented bunch with great comradery, so anything less than promotion would be disappointing.
3) Now you have taken the step up to captaincy, which former captain(s) that you've player under was/were the biggest influence on you and why?
Playing under Chula de Silva for 3 years was a great influence on my cricket. The leadership skills and the fight he had in himself were admirable and this had a positive impact on the team which shows from the fantastic promotion season in 2014 and staying up in division 2 in 2015. I hope to emulate what he has done in his short time as captain, but I do hope to stamp my own mark on the team.
4) Who is the player to watch out for this season?
This year Ankit Rana is the player to watch out for this season whether it is with the ball or the bat. He's been a promising player for a few years and I think this is his year to shine for the club.
5) From what you've observed in pre-season, which player(s) from outside of the first team do you think will be pushing for a place in your team?
There are many players pushing for a spot in the 1st XI, of which one of them is Vrushank Dalal. He has been playing well in 2nd XI for the last few seasons and is training hard in order to stake his claim in the first team this season. He should become available to us in June.
6) If you could take any player from any club to join Wembley, who would it be and why?
Ashish Patel from SKLPC – Good wicket keeper and good opening batsmen. He may not be the most talented but he was always a stubborn batsman and very difficult to remove, someone who you want next to you in the trenches, because he just doesn’t give up.
7) From all of the Wembley player's you have played with in your time at the club, what would be your #One2Eleven? (Only 1 overseas player is permitted)
1) Moazzam Rizvi: He is a very destructive batsman who can get you off to a flyer whenever we need. He has probably been the most consistent batsman over the last 5 years.
2) Adrian Green: Very orthodox opening batsman but can be aggressive when he wants. There is no better spectacle than watching Greeny in full flight.
3) Jack Webster (overseas): Very stylish batsman and the best overseas I've watched play. He was destructive and to score over 600 league runs in a season is a phenomenal effort.
4) Sneh Shah: Sneh has a great technique and is amazing to watch and also has great pair of hands. He is a hardworking player who has a great cricket brain.
5) Vinay Shah: I’ve played with Vinay since I was 9. He's been a great player for the club. He’s a very positive batsman who will try every shot in the book. His fine leg spin also makes him a real commodity to any club.
6) Chula De silva (captain): Great batsmen with a lot of experience in him and a great leader.
7) John Gale (WKT): I played under John for plenty of years in the 2nd team. He was a great captain and leader. He has been one of my coaches as a colt and has brought me a long way. He is with no doubt my wicketkeeper.
8) Tapan Patel: Great opening bowler and useful and reliable with the bat. He would bowl all day if I asked him to.
9) Junayd Azar: One of the best bowlers I've grew up playing with. He can and has single-handedly destroy teams by himself with the ball. His larger than life personality will always be a great asset to the team.
10) Vimal Arjan: Vimto is one of the best left arm spinners in the league. He has been the club’s leading wicket taker on a couple of occasions and can turn a game in a spin of his fingers
11)Rajith Amunagama: One of the biggest influences for me when I first broke into the 1st XI. His experience and guidance has helped me become a more clever and better bowler. His ability to swing the ball both ways together with his sharp mind to out-think the batsman made him lethal.
I would like to thank Chirag Amin for taking the time answer these questions. Over the course of the season we will hopefully be hearing from the other four captains as well as past players such as Chula DeSilva and club stalwarts: John Haskell, Dave Joshi, Gavin Imrie and more.