A crowd of 1,000-plus people is expected to flock to Guernsey's KGV on Saturday 11th August to watch the 50th inter-insular between the two big rivals.
First played in 1957 and now sponsored by HSBC Bank, Jersey lead the series with 21 wins to Guernsey's 17 wins, with 12 matches drawn. The draw format was removed in 1977 and it wasn't until 2003 before any limitation on bowlers was introduced. The match is now played to standard 50-over rules with 10 overs maximum per bowler and with Duckworth/Lewis being applied for the first time in 2006.
Over the years some remarkable results patterns have emerged. Guernsey have won the last 5 fixtures since 2002, but only after Jersey had completed an unprecedented 10 successive victories. Even then, Guernsey won 4 of the previous 5 matches bewteen 1987 and 1991 and Jersey won 3 of the previous 4 between 1982 and 1986. On several occasions during these patterns of results the side with the losing record has managed to get its nose in front and into a winning position, only to "choke" and throw the game away. The pressure on the players on both sides is huge for this level of the game and many a fine player has "bottled it" under pressure.
The 2007 match is impossible to call. Whichever team wins will have beaten a very fine side. Both teams are full of fine players and both are very well-prepared, increasingly so against the background of ICC tournament cricket since 2005 for both islands which has resulted in sustained squad and player development instead of just the one annual highlight being this fixture.
If there is anything at all to choose between the two sides, and here we are talking about razor-thin margins, then it would be home advantage for Guernsey and also Guernsey's clear advantage in the spin department through the high quality pair of left-armer Jeremy Frith and off-spinner Gary Rich. Both teams have strong and long batting orders and are packed with all-rounders, and both have very talented keepers.
Guernsey: Matt Oliver, Ryan Bishop (wk), Jeremy Frith, Ami Banerjee, Stuart Le Prevost (capt), GH Smit, Andy Biggins, Gary Rich, Kris Moherndl, Blane Queripel, Peter Le Hegarat.
Jersey: Peter Gough, Matt Hague (capt), Steve Carlyon, Ryan Driver, Meeku Patidar, Chris Jones, Bradley Vowden, Jamie Brewster, Tony Carlyon, James Caunt (wk), Tom Minty.
Guernsey's team includes Jeremy Frith (ex-England under-19s), Ami Banerjee (ex-Bengal Ranji Trophy) and debutant Ryan Bishop who last year played regional under-19 cricket in South Africa.
The Jersey side includes ex-Lancashire and Worcestershire professional Ryan Driver, Matt Hague (who played State age group cricket in his native Australia) and debutant James Caunt who was once on the books of Nottinghamshire.
The appointed umpires are Andy Bisson (Guernsey) and Doug Ferguson (Jersey) with Guernsey's Martin Gray as the third umpire.