As we look forward to putting some points on the board in the third week of league games, I caught up with Kishen Gandhi to get his thoughts on the mighty Wembley CC:
1) Firstly, congratulations on becoming the new 2nd XI captain. What made you take up the 2nd XI captaincy and has it always been an ambition of yours?
After missing all of last season through injury, how else was I going to cement my 2XI spot? Ha!
Seriously though, thank you! I always imagined leading a side at some point and after Akash (previous 2XI skipper) decided to step down to push for his spot in the 1XI, I felt it was time I stepped up. I’m really glad to have been given this opportunity, got some big boots to fill! We had a challenging year as a club and there have been some big changes, I think for the positive and it should be a much better season ahead.
2) What sort of captain will you be?
I’m in quite a lucky position actually. My previous skipper is still at the club, I have a great vice who also has previous captaincy experience and I have a few senior players in the side. I plan to use all that knowledge to my advantage and try to get the best out of the team. I’ll look to be positive and try and build momentum, the team really thrives on that.
3) What is the goal for this season?
I think initially the goal is to bring stability to the team and build up some winning momentum. We can then re-assess the situation half way through the season. There’s a lot of talent in the team so we should be able to put ourselves in a position to push for promotion.
4) What made you get into cricket?
I’ve always loved it. My father and uncles all played. Plus I suck at football.
5) What is your best moment in cricket?
My first century for the club a couple of weeks ago was definitely a highlight. Not only for the milestone but I did it in my first game as skipper for 2s and first innings after returning from injury. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to play this season so it was definitely amazing. A huge thank you goes out to the chap who dropped me on 99 :D
6) What is your funniest moment in cricket?
Trying to run my teammate out in a friendly. It was either me or him. Probably not my finest moment.
7) Who is the player to watch out for in 2nd XI this year?
This is a tough one - there are a bunch of lads in the 2XI this year who should be pushing for a spot in the 1XI. Vrushank Dalal is an obvious choice and Raz Asghar is also so vital to the team however i’m going to go with Amir Mahmood. The last time he played in this league he was absolutely devastating at the top of the order and got around 650 runs. More of the same please!
8) Who is your best friend in cricket?
I get along with everyone :)
9) Who do you think will finish with the most league runs at the club this season?
Traditionally it’s been the 1st XI overseas player who takes this trophy. I think this year he will be pushed by Ankit Rana, 1st team skipper Chirag Amin and Amir Mahmood.
10) 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?
I only started playing club cricket properly about 3-4 years ago so the list isn’t too long. I’d say Akash (previous 2XI captain) had a big influence on how I approach the game and Dave Joshi who gave me my first chance when I joined the club. I have to mention Chula as well, he was the 1XI and club captain when I joined. He was brilliant and has left a huge gap to fill!
11) Who is the toughest opponent you have faced?
Hard to say, we’ve played some good sides.
12) If you could take any player from any club to play in your team, who would it be any why?
I’d take a good keeper. What does Sangakkara do on Saturdays now he’s retired?
13) 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)
From my short time at the club:
1) Moazzam Rizvi - Destructive batsman. I’ve watched him destroy all levels of opposition. Wembley’s Sehwag.
2) Ankit Rana - Bringing a touch of class to the opening partnership. Busy at the crease and will keep the scoreboard ticking.
3) Jack Webster (WK) - Overseas - Stylish and destructive. Scoring 600+ runs in what was a very tough league.
4) Sneh Shah - Superb all rounder who seems to have all the time in the world
5) Vinay Shah - Didn’t get a chance to play with him too much but a leg spinner who could tie one end down and also play some expansive shots
6) Alex Greig - Handy left arm spinner and solid batsman. Key player in the team
7) Chula De Silva (Captain) - Best captain i’ve seen at Wembley and solid in the middle order
8) Tapan Patel - All round seamer with an excellent cricketing brain
9) Junayd Azar - Stats speak for themselves here. One of, if not the, best bowlers wembley has ever had. Can single handedly destroy a team.
10) Raz Asghar - I really like his style of bowling and is always consistent.
11) Vimal Arjan - Deadly. Top spinner. Just don’t ask him about that one time he hit that boundary.
Next week, Dave Joshi will be picking his #One2Eleven and more...