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Sawston & Babraham will be ready whenever East Anglian Premier League debut comes along

Captain Dan Heath is confident his Sawston & Babraham side will be ready for a first ever assault on the East Anglian Premier League – if and when they get the word to go.

Last season proved to be one to remember for the club, who after being crowned Whiting & Partners Cambs & Hunts Premier League Division One champions recorded a six-wicket win over North Runcton in the play-off final to rubber stamp their place in the region’s top flight.

Sawston & Babraham have waited for more than 160 years to play at that level, and the impact of the coronavirus has delayed it further.

Sawston & Babraham win the East Anglian Premier League promotion play-off final against North Runcton. Picture: Chris Worrall (33764359)
Sawston & Babraham win the East Anglian Premier League promotion play-off final against North Runcton. Picture: Chris Worrall (33764359)

A return date for the sport is currently unknown, but if any play is possible this year, Heath has insisted his men are primed.

“We completely understand what has happened. There are a lot more important things happening right now than cricket, but it is incredibly disappointing because we worked so hard to make the step up,” he said.

“We have also been working hard throughout the winter. It is all a bit surreal to be honest. We were training one weekend and then a few days later we were in lockdown.

“I blow hot and cold as to whether I think cricket will be played this year, but we are very lucky to have a bunch of good lads who are all driven.

“We had a good winter and got into shape. Four of our lads had been abroad playing cricket as well so they would have been sharp. Fitness will not be an issue if we do get any matches – everyone is chomping at the bit to play at that level.”

Heath credits the unity within the squad as being one of the key factors behind last year’s history-making season.

And that togetherness has also been worth its weight in gold during these tough times.

“I live on my own like a few of the others lad and the close group we have is so important in this situation,” added Heath.

“Not every club has that, but it is our one of our strengths. We are a big group of mates and that is what we say to players we are trying to attract to the club – we will make them feel a part of it.

“It is a difficult situation, especially living on your own. But even if you live with a girlfriend or your parents, you still need your mates and that little sense of normality.

“We are talking all of the time and have started up things like quizzes – it is keeping us well connected.”

Heath also confirmed that overseas player Daniel Stanley would now not be linking up with the club this year in light of the pandemic.