Symes primed for Watsonians and Saltires debuts
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
SALTIRES recruit Jean Symes was last night backed to shake-off the shivers in time to make his debut for Watsonians this afternoon.
The South African flew into the country last night and goes straight into the ‘Sonians team to face Dumfries in the Scottish Cup.
All-rounder Symes will then meet his new Saltires team-mates on Tuesday before his CB40 baptism against Surrey next Sunday.
Watsonians skipper Stuart Chalmers declared: “The chilly temperatures we’ve been having will be a bit of a shock to the system for Jean.
“But I’m sure he’ll adjust and we’re looking forward to having him in the team.
“He’s got an impressive pedigree and should prove a great signing for ourselves and the Saltires.”
Symes, who boasts almost 3,000 First Class runs and 65 wickets, was drafted-in as a replacement when New Zealander George Worker was called-up by his country.
Meanwhile Chalmers expects a tough first outing of the campaign against a Dumfries side who got off to a flier last weekend.
While the Edinburgh club’s opener against Penicuik was rained-off, Dumfries rattled up 318-5 in a crushing win over Weirs.
Their top five batsmen all made half-tons and Chalmers added: “They are already one up on us just having a competitive game under their belts.
“But their confidence will also be high so it will be a tough game.”
Former Kent bowler Dewald Nel, now player-coach at Myreside, is another Watsonians debutant along with ex-Clydesdale and Greenock wicket-keeper Andy Hislop.
Like Watsonians, Grange are playing catch-up when they visit an Uddingston side who proved too strong for Fauldhouse a week ago.
Former Saltires batsman Neil McCallum captains Grange for the first time and pits his wits against current cap Calum MacLeod.
Greenock were dealt a double blow on the eve of their Glenpark clash with SNCL champions Carlton when South African duo Mpho Sekhoto and Craig Schlebusch failed to check-in on time.
Stirling and Heriot’s, winners a week ago, bid to seize the Group B initiative when they clash at New Williamfield.
Elsewhere the weather has already taken its toll with Freuchie’s clash with Forfarshire and the match between Aberdeenshire and Drumpellier victims of sodden pitches.