BROMSGROVE have been dealt a blow ahead of their Birmingham League Division One opener away to Brockhampton this weekend with skipper Mark Evenson sidelined for at least a month with a broken thumb.
Evenson picked up the injury while bowling to Jack Taylor in the nets last Thursday and is expected to be out for around four to six weeks.
It means Tom Hill will lead the Boars out on Saturday against Herefordshire side Brockhampton who were relegated from the Premier Division last season.
“I knew as soon as it happened something was not right,” said Evenson.
“And as it’s my bowling hand that has been injured it’s even more frustrating.
“With Gareth Williams also out due to struggling with back spasms it means our bowling attack is hampered.
“However, it is what it is and we will put out the best side we can.”
Former Knowle & Dorridge batsman Alec Baker and Warwickshire’s Aaron Thomason are to be handed their debuts this weekend.
But with Bromsgrove having had no pre-season preparations, Evenson knows to expect the unexpected on the first day of the new season.
“It’s not ideal that we’ve had not outdoor games but everybody is in the same boat,” he said.
“You have to earn the right to win a game of cricket and you do that by out-bowling, out-batting and out-fielding your opponent.
“The lads are under-cooked because the weather has been so miserable but it is the same for every other club in the division.
“Whichever team copes better with that will take home the points.”
With the Birmingham League being reduced from 48 to 24 teams next season after clubs voted 31-15 in favour of a restructure last month, Evenson stressed the importance of avoiding the drop.
Clubs relegated from Division One as well as those in Division Two and Three will be transferred to their respective county leagues as of 2019.
“In the player meetings we have had we know the importance of a good start,” said Evenson.
“There is plenty at stake this season.
“The division is that strong it is like the Championship of football because anyone can beat anyone.
“We have a strong squad on paper but the game isn’t played on paper.”