Friday, January 16th, 2015

Worcs Opener Oliver Looking For Sharks To “peak At The Right Time”

Worcs Opener Oliver Looking For Sharks To “peak At The Right Time”

Skipper Richard Oliver has challenged Geelong City to "peak just at the right time" in the race for the Geelong Cricket Association Division One title.

The Sharks are currently lying in third spot in the table with just six points separating the top five teams.

Worcestershire opener Oliver has been left frustrated by successive abandonments either side of Christmas against leaders East Belmont and fourth placed South Barwon due to a rogue sprinkler and the elements respectively.

But the 24-year-old, who is looking forward to his first full season at New Road, insists the squad is bubbling with confidence ahead of this weekend's clash with St. Joseph's.

He said: "Following a good break over Christmas, the Sharks were thwarted by the weather at the weekend with a mass washout being decided by the GCA (Geelong Cricket Association).

"We were due to play fourth placed South Barwon which would have been a cracker of a game I have no doubt.

"It was a shame because we prepared well and there's a lot of confidence in the camp at the moment.

"But we will carry that through into this week ahead of another crunch game against last years premiers St Joseph's in a return to the two day format – weather permitting!

"They have got some quality players and it's always a good challenge to face former Geelong champion bowler, and their skipper, Trent Walerys."

Oliver added: "We haven't had much luck recently, what with the weather and sprinklers, along with a host of unavailability throughout the club at times during the season so far.

"Yet we are still really well placed across all grades, so hopefully we can see some consistency in the latter part of the season, and hopefully we can peak just at the right time."

Oliver doubles up as head groundsman for Geelong and said: "I suppose the upside of all the rain we have been having is that the ground is in immaculate condition.

"It is easily the best I've seen it in three years at Shark Park, so it hasn't been all bad news!

"It is just a pain in the backside when all the work has been done to get the ground ready for training or games, then for the weather to have the final say."

Oliver is taking a keen interest in the Australian 'Big Bash' T20 competition.

He said: "It has been exciting to watch with a game on every night. People can't get enough of it over here.

"My boys the Scorchers looking strong again!"

Oliver's thoughts will soon turn to Worcestershire's pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi in early March.

He said: "Time is flying by pretty quickly and before I know it, we will be in Abu Dhabi, so it is exciting times ahead.

"But I'm determined make the most of what has been a solid start for the Sharks in the remaining four games this season."

Ben Cox and Jack Shantry (Greenvale Kangaroos), Joe Leach (North Canberra Gungahlin), Joe Clarke (South Perth CC), Ed Barnard (Queanbeyan District) and Ross Whiteley (Prospect CC) are also due to be in action tomorrow.

*Tune into the Worcestershire CCC website for news of how the county's players Down Under progress in their respective matches.