Glamorgan ready for showdown

Source - walesonline.co.uk

Robert Croft has declared he will be fit for the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final showdown with Durham at Chester-Le-Street tomorrow night.

The veteran spinner missed the county championship game against Worcestershire with a calf strain, the first four-day game he has been absent through injury since he started playing in 1989.

But Croft, who was the county’s most economical bowler in the group stages, has proved his fitness this week, although leading Twenty20 wicket-taker Ryan Watkins will miss out through injury.

“The leg seems OK,” said Croft.

“I have done all the treatment with the physio and it feels good.

“And I am desperate to play in this game because, as you get older, the chance to play in these matches gets smaller and smaller.

“It is an opportunity that none of us thought we had.

“And it is a chance to play in a big game, something that Glamorgan have not experienced over the last few years.

“Any sportsman will tell you that you want to play in big matches in front of a lot of supporters in the best possible atmosphere.

“And a Twenty20 quarter-final against Durham is a big deal, especially with the team they have got full of stars and a place in the finals day at stake.”

Those Durham stars include South African Kolpak player Shaun Pollock, West Indies batsman Shivarine Chanderpaul and England duo Paul Collingwood and Steve Harmison.

Glamorgan will have no overseas players on show with Herschelle Gibbs unavailable after being deregistered in favour of Jason Gillespie, who the Welsh county are not risking because of his Indian Cricket League appearances which could threaten their Champions League chances should they qualify.

But Croft believes the Dragons’ home-grown side can cause an upset after being handed their Twenty20 reprieve by the England and Wales Cricket Board last week.

“In Twenty20 cricket, the formbook goes out the window,” said Croft.

“It is a form of the game where one person can change the game for you and it does not matter what your name is and what you have achieved previously in cricket.

“It is probably the type of cricket that is better suited to us.

“We have got nothing to lose and we can just go out there, express ourselves to try and make the most of it.”

Tom Maynard will replace Gibbs from the side who featured in the group stages after a series of impressive performances for the seconds.

Maynard junior, who will bat at five with Mike Powell and Jamie Dalrymple moving a place up the order, will also have an opportunity in the next championship game against Essex next week at Southend with captain David Hemp away on World Cup qualifying duty with Bermuda.
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