We began the season at HKU, where we were privileged to have witnessed one of the finest knocks by Peter Wooden, spanking a flawless 180. The season was punctuated with brilliant performances – the other notable individual performances being a magnificent 134* by Wooden and Waqar Dawood’s mesmerizing spell of 6 for 19. Most of the brilliance, though, was on a team level – the standout performance was the demolition of top-of-the-table (at the time) Kai Tak, bowling them out for a mere 51.
However, the lack of consistency in performing to our potential plagued the team occasionally, proving somewhat costly as the Saracens finished sixth in the league. Despite being an improvement from last season (8th), it was not a fair reflection of the talent that was on display.
There are plenty of positives to carry into next season. In the bowling department, the lethal outswing of Gurjant Singh spearheading the attack (16 scalps in only seven games) coupled with the emergence of Waqas Barkat as a strike leg-spinner were solid contributions. The batsmen showed flashes of elegance and will be looking to convert the 30s and 40s into big scores next season. Our wicketkeeper, Ritesh Jhaveri, got better with every game, pulling off blinder after blinder (fracturing his ribs in the process).
Another major plus was the development of young blood – the likes of Hersh Khatri, Karan Shah and Apurv Sharma were given as much game time as possible and showed their true colours.
I would like to thank Tim Parkinson for his faith in me to take the reins as Saracens skipper. My appreciation also goes to the former Head Coach Peter Wooden and the senior players, including Mathew Collins and Ravi Sujanani, for their unfailing support and mentorship on and off the field. Also supporting from the sidelines whenever possible were our (Division 2) arch-rivals, the Crusaders, which definitely spurred us on. Last but not least, I would like to thank every single one of my teammates, particularly vice-captain Nigel Shroff, for backing me even when the going got tough.
It has been an absolute pleasure leading the side for the second half of the season – I have relished every minute of it. After reflecting on the year, we have set our sights on the Saturday league finals next season – stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen!
Submitted by Kunal Parwani & Tim Parkinson