Sharif back for Glenrothes
THE man who so nearly propelled Scotland to the World Cup will make his delayed return to the domestic stage today.
Safyaan Sharif will lead Glenrothes into battle against RHC Lions at Barnton - and he can’t wait to get stuck in.
There was frustration last weekend when the home-turf encounter with Carlton fell victim to the elements.
And Sharif said: “We are more than ready to launch our campaign.
“We have a few new faces in the line-up, however there are one or two injury worries.
“But we have worked tremendously hard in training and we know that if we get the basics right, we should get over the line.”
The contest will feature a fascinating duel between Sharif and veteran Scotland ace Majid Haq.
RHC captain Joe Kinghorn-Gray admitted: “We’re excited at the prospect of facing Saffy.
“It is always good to test yourselves against top class players.”
Tayside rivals Forfarshire and Arbroath will be without their skippers for the matches against Grange and Aberdeenshire respectively.
Arbroath head for Mannofield, which has been a happy hunting ground in recent years.
And despite the absence of captain Marc Petrie, they are boosted by the return of Fraser Burnett, who has claimed a century on three visits to the Granite City.
Calvin Burnett takes charge of the side, while Murray Clark emerges from retirement to take over from Petrie behind the stumps.
Petrie said: “It is great to have Murray back playing again after hip surgery.
“The guys are confident after beating Stew-Mel last week, but Aberdeenshire will wee drilled under Chris Venske, who has done a great job as skipper up there.”
Meanwhile, Jack Hogarth steps in for Mohammed at Forthill against a Grange outfit that won’t have the services of ex-England Test star Ryan Sidebottom until next month.
They proved against Aberdeenshire on opening day that they will take a bit of stopping without him.
The remainder of the card features two capital derbies.
Champions Heriot’s make the short hop to Inverleith to square up to Stew-Mel.
And Carlton entertain Watsonians, buoyed up by Sunday’s success in the Murgitroyd T20 Final, held over from last year.