Interviews

Vitae Sports chart Derbyshire coach Steve Kirby’s rise through the ranks

Vitae coach Andre Adams rocks Australia with double title success

On The Up…Vitae Sports chart Fynn Hudson-Prentice’s amazing rise in the game.

One to watch! Yorkshire paceman Ed Barnes – in profile!

Warwickshire star Oliver Hannon-Dalby chats to Vitae Sports!

James Bracey

Exclusive Q&A with England Lions & Gloucestershire star James Bracey

Prior to joining the England Lions tour to Australia later this month, Vitae Sports speak to Gloucestershire wicket keeper / batsman about his thoughts on a promotion winning season and what lies ahead for the talented youngster.

JB: We certainly had goals to succeed and put ourselves in contention in all formats. Whether we expected to finish how we did, I’m not sure, but I definitely knew we had the potential going into the summer. We have an extremely talented but small squad, so we often go under the radar, particularly in 4-day cricket. We definitely understood our white ball potential and had clear plans when it came to competing in the championship, which showed. It was really pleasing to see us have success across the board, which we hope to continue in 2020! 

JB: Promotion has to be the highlight! Everyone at the club was delighted and it made all the hard work throughout the year very worthwhile. The Cheltenham festival again was fantastic and certainly had a huge bearing on us turning our championship season into a promotion one. The two closely fought wins at the college were crucial for us.

JB: I’m sure everyone agrees that with promotion to Division 1 comes some tough challenges, so obviously establishing ourselves as a Division 1 outfit is a key goal for us as a group, we certainly think we can do it. The 50-over competition poses an interesting dynamic for all clubs and is going to be one that we can see ourselves competing well in. In T20 cricket it would be nice to reach finals day, we’ve been consistent over the last few years across the competition but unsuccessful in our last few QFs, so we are hoping we can reverse this trend and get to Edgbaston! 

JB: A big year with the bat in championship cricket would be up the top of my list. It would be great to have a more consistent year and contribute to some wins! 

Some silverware would also be good for the county, we played some brilliant cricket in 2019 so hopefully continuing this will end in some silverware this summer. 

JB: Essex and Somerset have obviously both been really strong in Division 1 over the last couple of years so they will always be competing. Lancashire might also be up there, their bowling attack was outstanding last year.

In the blast you can never seem to predict, everyone is very good on their day, I’d like to think we will surprise some people and go all the way in 2020! 

JB: Graeme van Buuren and Ryan Higgins are brilliant, especially together. They’ve got a quality bromance which can be very entertaining!

JB: Not a fan of any unnecessary changes in all honesty, the New Year’s Day Test match at Newlands provides the perfect example of why test cricket is at its best as a 5 day game.

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Exclusive Q&A with Pakistan Star Azhar Ali

Vitae Sports speak to Pakistan and Somerset’s Azhar Ali about his thoughts on this season,the T20 Vitality Blast and World Cup.
AA: The season has been very good. As a team we have played some awesome cricket and set some really high standards which have led to overall consistency.

AA: Without a doubt, winning the Royal London One-Day Cup.

AA: The structure is amazing and the dressing room culture. We set high standards in everything we do, and we always keep challenging ourselves.

AA: All the teams are dangerous and very good. I think it will depend on which team clicks as a unit at the right time and the bowling department can be the difference. If you had to push me for an answer I would say, Sussex maybe.

AA: I believe we played well enough to be in the top four and qualify but unfortunately the luck factor did not go our way.

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Q&A with Vitae Sports Warwickshire skipper Jeetan Patel

Our final exclusive interview is with Warwickshire’s captain and one of the finest overseas players to grace the County Championship, Jeetan Patel!

JP – It’s been a busy season so far with lots of tough cricket. We as a group have grown together and are starting to see a lot of good progress on and off the field. Where we are in the County Championship table isn’t the worst, but every game has a huge bearing on whether we can stay up in Division 1. I feel very positive about the direction in which Warwickshire are tracking and hopefully, the second half of the season continues to see us improve as a unit.

The three highlights for me this year so far are, (1) beating Surrey in the County Championship at home; (2) visiting my old club ground York and beating Yorkshire up there; and (3) Sibley’s 244 against Kent which secured a draw against them at Kent.

I think it’s fair to say that every team is aiming for finals day and we are no different. We have a side that not many will expect to do well, but if we can be meticulous and win certain parts of games along the way, it will hopefully push us into the top part of the pool, then it’s about winning a few one-off games.

In terms of the Championship, we still have the aim of consolidating our position in Division 1. It is such a tough division, but we are trending well and are fighting hard to retain our position in Division 1. It will be interesting to see what the T20 break does to the Championship league, if it affects it all.

Every opponent in the T20 will have their eyes on finals day and how they can get there. It’s going to be an interesting competition with so much to play for beyond this season. I expect the Northern group to be strong again and everyone will beat everyone throughout the tournament. Momentum is everything in T20 and whoever finishes the strongest will be in with a chance to win.

With New Zealand beating India to face England, I will no doubt have one eye on the final. I can’t pick a winner; my heart is with New Zealand but the different strengths in both teams make it a tight finish. If my neck was on the line, I’d hope for a New Zealand win!

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Q&A with Vitae Sports Worcestershire Captain Joe Leach

The next installment of our interviews with Vitae Sports county captains is Worcestershire star Joe Leach

JL – So far we’ve probably not quite been at our best in 4-day cricket but we feel like we are just starting to turn a bit of a corner. We had a good 50-over campaign in reaching the quarter-finals which carried on our good form in white ball cricket.

JL – Our performance at Old Trafford in the 50-over competition has been our complete performance, so until now that is our highlight

JL – First and foremost to climb the table in Division Two but also to have a good crack at defending our T20 title we won last year. It will be a challenge but hopefully we can start well and build some momentum.

JL – The North Group is a challenging one to get out of but our games against Notts are always big ones.

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Q&A with Vitae Sports Leicestershire leader Paul Horton

Next up in our series of exclusive interviews with Vitae Sports county captains is Leicestershire skipper Paul Horton

PH – The season has been good so far even if at times a little frustrating due to the weather. That has meant forcing wins was particularly hard at times but overall, I believe we’ve played better cricket than our points tally suggests.

PH – Highlight has been the emergence of Hasan Azad and I have really enjoyed forming an opening partnership with him. It’s always nice to see a young player come in and do so well.

PH – Our aims are is to convert our positions into more wins and climb the table to challenge for one of the three promotion spots!

PH – I believe Lancashire, it might be because I have a special place for them but I do believe they possess a lot of power, two very experienced T20 cricketers in Maxwell/Faulkner and very good spin options! 

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Record breaking coach Esuan Crandon discusses his quest for sixth consecutive title

Guyana Head Coach Esuan Crandon chats to Vitae Sports about the Jaguars preparation for this year’s West Indies Regional Four-Day Competition.

Vitae Sports, Guyana Head Coach Esuan Crandon is aiming to make history this season as he looks to clinch an incredible sixth consecutive Regional Four-Day Competition title. The 38-year-old has already proven to be one of the most successful West Indian domestic coaches in a short space of time.

Crandon has set his stall out with an opening match victory this weekend as Guyana romped to an emphatic 10-wicket victory against the Leeward Islands to once again show the Jaguars mean business and lead from the front.Vitae Sports caught up with Esuan last week prior to the opening match of the tournament to discuss his preparation for the competition and his confidence to continue to perform at an elite level once again.

Esuan said: “Well as with every season, I am really looking forward to a very competitive and successful season. Guyana Jaguars are anticipating stiff competition from all opposing teams and we’re prepared to go the extra mile to ensure victory is achieved. The squad is a balanced one with young and experienced players. We, the coaching staff and players have worked hard on our preparation during the pre-season and it’s now time to implement our tactics and strategies that we have been focusing on during that period. Our goal is to win this competition and to become the first regional first-class cricket team to complete six successive titles.

This team knows how to win cricket matches, we would have faced various challenges over the years, but we have always managed to triumph and overcome the adversity. The players are all focused and eager to perform their respective roles and are willing to make the necessary sacrifice for the team. I am seeking to continue bringing my ‘A’ game, by imparting knowledge and providing the necessary support for all players. Guyana Jaguars has what it takes to win for six consecutive years, I am confident we will demonstrate this from the beginning of the season.”

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