Penzance a team ‘everyone is chasing’ says skip Smith

Penzance a team ‘everyone is chasing’ says skip Smith

Penzance skipper Greg Smith.

12th May 2021

By Gareth Davies

Penzance skipper Greg Smith leads his side into their Premier League defence as the team everyone wants to beat.

South African Smith, who played professionally for Essex and Derbyshire before joining Penzance in 2016, takes his side to Callington this coming Saturday.

It will be Penzance’s first 50-over game for nearly two years after the 2020 season was disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic.

A shortened cup competition was introduced to fill the void of last season’s league programme being cancelled, with Penzance beating local rivals St Just in the final. Smith’s side have started 2021 in fine form and they were unbeaten in qualifying for the Kernow Crash finals day although the 38-year-old Johannesburg born all-rounder is excited for the longer format games to begin.

“Everyone is looking forward to some sort of normality,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Voice.

“We have started with the T20’s, which for us has gone really well, but now the proper cricket is starting. We won (the Premier League) in 2019 and the guys are ready for a strong campaign this year.”

Smith, a former Proteas Under-19 World Cup star went onto tip Callington and Wadebridge as teams he feel will test his own Penzance side, whilst revealing that local rivals St Just signing Somerset’s Max Waller for 2021 will help strengthen the league.

“As a former professional cricketer, one thing I wanted to do, along with our boys, is to make the league strong as I don’t think it was particularly strong,” Smith added. “I have been here at Penzance for five years and I think that this season, it will certainly be the strongest league in my time down here. The pure fact is that everyone is trying to chase us which is great for Cornish cricket.

“Callington have made a few good signings and we play them this weekend and that will be an interesting game to see where they’re at from our point of view.

“They will obviously test themselves against us too, in terms of playing against the best side.

“They could be up there along with Wadebridge, who have made a couple of interesting signings and they always have a competitive side so they will be interesting to watch.

“You look at St Just, who are always competitive and despite them having some players that are coming towards the end of their careers, they are still good enough to compete.

“The big thing will be overseas players and if they can arrive and play. St Just also have Max Waller and it would be great to see him play the whole season.

“That adds a bit of strength to the league and the signing of Max is a great one for the league in general. You can’t forget Truro either because Scott Harvey has gone back there to bolster their batting.

“They lacked a few batters last year and then there is their Indian signing Rahul Dalal - if he comes, that will also be fantastic for the league.”

Also in the Premier League, Gareth May will lead his St Just side into their first game of the campaign when they start with a home clash against Werrington.

May will be hoping for better fortunes in the longer format after his side won just one of their six recent T20 games.