THE Qureshi brothers haven’t played cricket together since their days in the backyard at Blayney, so you can imagine the joy, and friendly banter, amongst the trio throughout the summer so far.
It’s also the reason the brothers, Jameel, Imran and Yousuf, are enjoying the cricketing year, their first with Blayney in the Bathurst District Cricket Association’s first grade premiership as the club embarks on a comeback summer.
But the fun and games can only last so long.
Undefeated through two games of the Royal Hotel Cup after accepting an invitation from the Orange District Cricket Association to contest its Twenty20 competition, Blayney tackles its toughest test tonight at Wade Park.
Blayney will face Cavaliers, the reigning Royal Hotel Cup holders and a unit desperate to win to remain a hope of defending the side’s title.
The Blayney-Cavs match-up is arguably the game of the ODCA’s day-night competition thus far.
Jameel Qureshi knows how hard it’ll be for his Blayney team to win at Wade Park tonight, with a win set to secure the side a place in the finals while a loss leaves the team’s fate in the hands of the Orange City-GMT match next month.
It’s been fun so far, but, tonight, it’s time to get serious.
“I remember playing with Rugby Union in a Royal Hotel Cup final against (Cavaliers) and they scored 340 or something. It was a long night. They gave us a bit of a flogging there. They’ve got a good side,” Jameel said.
No doubt Blayney will have to contend with, and restrict the influence of, key Cavs figures the likes of Stu Middleton, Richie Venner and Chris Martin.
“Liam Gough is a good young player as well,” Qureshi added.
“He’ll be the key with the ball.”
Jameel, a Western Zone representative this season, is the oldest of the Qureshi’s on show tonight at 24.
Imran, 22, will keep wickets while at 20 years of age, Yousuf will bat in Blayney’s middle-order and bowl a few of his off spinners against Cavaliers.
“I was down in Sydney for about five years and came back last year. It’s good to be back playing together with my brothers in Blayney. It’s been fun,” Jameel said.
“Our cousin plays with us too. David Rogerson, he’s sort of like our fourth brother.”
The majority of the side that beat Orange City by 26 runs will again take the field tonight, with Mick Parfett coming in for Andrew Ryan the only change.
Qureshi said the key to his side’s success in both of its two previous matches was simple.
“Fielding, taking your catches and running between the wickets. Getting singles is the key I think.”
Tonight’s match between Blayney and Cavaliers starts at 6.30pm.