By Alun Rhys Chivers
Robert Croft hopes his Glamorgan team will begin to show the benefits of their pre-season trip to Dubai when they face Cardiff MCCU in a three-day fixture starting at the SSE SWALEC on Friday.
Glamorgan faced county opposition from Surrey and Lancashire in the UAE, and head coach Croft said: “It sped up the match readiness for us. In recent times, we haven’t had a lot of that harder edge in competition ahead of the season, so that’s a positive.”
Kiran Carlson, the 19-year-old right-hander from Cardiff, made an unbeaten century in the red-ball match against Lancashire, and Connor Brown – who played for Cardiff MCCU last season – added a half century, while David Lloyd also impressed in a white-ball match against Gloucestershire.
With the retirement of Jacques Rudolph and Colin Ingram’s decision to focus on one-day cricket in 2018, there will be places up for grabs in the batting line-up alongside star Australian signing Shaun Marsh – and this weekend’s game is the last chance to impress before the Specsavers County Championship opener against Gloucestershire in Bristol which starts on Friday week (April 20).
“Provided everybody’s fit, we’re looking to play a pretty strong team,” Croft added – with the selection options that he will consider with captain Michael Hogan set to be boosted by Marchant de Lange’s return from South Africa, and the return to fitness of Timm van der Gugten.
“We may explore a couple of different options again. Michael and I are coming close to what we believe will be our team but there’s still time for people to push for a place.”