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Camels prepare for Hampshire clashes

CRICKET – The Awali Camels cricket team will face four strong Hampshire teams as their 2024 tour begins on Monday next week.

The tourists are looking to continue their remarkable, near-unbeaten run, having lost just six matches in 150 matches during their 29-year tour of Britain and Ireland.

A strong mix of experience and youth will ensure they have a competitive edge when they face four new opponents. This year, the Awali Camels, supported by Reza Hygiene, will be wearing their new livery when they start the tour.

At the experienced end of the scale, the six players with extensive Awali backgrounds include Dave ‘Steel Knees’ Mason, Guy Parker, Paul ‘Doughy’ Baker, Dave Starkie, Steve ‘Fluffy’ Turner and Dave Hilton. All have at least 50 years of cricketing experience behind them. Martin Saunders and Fergus Shaw add to the wealth of experience.

Close behind them comes Charles Forward, still milking the bowling attack after more than 40 years of haymaking experience. His extensive local knowledge of Hampshire cricket will certainly come in handy in the quaint rural outposts of the great game in deepest Hampshire, where cricket has been played for over 500 years.

The Camels will miss father-son duo Dave and George Axtell and Dan and Charles Viles but hope ‘Mighty’ Matt Rees will be there too.

Cobus Grierson, who is in form after his cricket career with the Bahrain Rugby Football Club and the Bahrain Cricket Team, will be making his debut and will bring youth and strength to the team.

Still young but experienced Camel Tom Wooding brings pace to both bowling and batting, not to mention his outstanding fielding. We’ve added infielder and outfielder ‘hwyl’ Huw Caffrey, while veteran Charlie Haine is expected to feature in the squad.

First up are Ampfield and North Baddesley CC, a team desperate to beat the Camels who have heard of their historic success. However, their recent form, with a starting XI that has lost their last three games, has made light of their warning to the Camels: “We’re ready for you!”

The same goes for the other three opponents, Totton and Eling, Old Tauntonians and Romsey and East Tytherley CC.