Wilby aiming high in first full season as Diss captain

LEADING THE WAY: James Wilby is hoping to lead the charge for Diss Cricket Club this season as they look to better last seasons sixth place finish in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division

LEADING THE WAY: James Wilby is hoping to lead the charge for Diss Cricket Club this season as they look to better last seasons sixth place finish in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division

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James Wilby is aiming to push the top teams in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance all the way in his first full season as Diss Cricket Club’s captain.

Diss get their latest Premier Division campaign underway against Brooke tomorrow (1pm), with skipper Wilby set to select from a full-strength squad for the season opener at Rectory Meadow.

Wilby took over the reins of the team’s captaincy from the injured Phil Squire midway through last season and helped guide them to a sixth place finish.

Diss ended last season 51 points adrift of local rivals Old Buckenham in third place, but Wilby is hopeful his side can regain the form which saw them finish third in 2014.

“I’m looking forward to what should be a good, competitive season,” the Diss captain said. “Last year we had a lot of up and down games and we were not as consistent as we would have liked.

“This year we want to be pushing the teams at the top ideally and I’m hopeful we can have a very good year.”

Diss have lost all-rounder Tom Davey to Premier Division rivals Garboldisham, while last season’s overseas player, Pierce Fletcher, has been replaced for 2016.

South African top order batsman Nicholas Michaelides has joined for the new season, and has already made a big impression; hitting a century on his debut to help Diss beat Division One side Acle by 157 runs in a pre-season friendly at the weekend.

“He’s made a very good start and will be a good addition to the team,” Wilby said.

“Having an overseas player who bats at the top order, and can bowl as well, can make a big difference. Look at Fakenham, they won the league last year and their overseas player (Chad Bowes) scored over a thousand runs.

“A good overseas player will make you a competitive team, but for me, when Nick comes over I want to make sure he enjoys playing here.”

Diss visit Cromer for their first away game of the season next weekend, before they host the defending champions, Fakenham, at Rectory Meadow on May 14.

n Old Buckenham season preview - page 69