Louis Seigne believes his Eagley side have all the tools required to shine in this season’s Birtwistle Cup T20 competition.

The second edition of the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League’s 20-over event begins in earnest tomorrow, with 24 teams competing across four groups of six to reach Finals Day on July 21.

Eagley were quarter-finalists last year, beaten by eventual champions Little Lever.

Opening batter Seigne has taken over the captaincy of the Dunscar club for 2024 and is in confident mood ahead of tomorrow’s home opener against Brinscall (6.15pm).

“I’m really excited for the T20s,” he said. “We’ve got some great young talent.

“The fact we’ve got some young lads who are lively in the field, that definitely lends itself to T20 cricket. As captain, I’ve got a lot of options to choose from with the ball, including a number of spinners.

“Luca Doyle been good in that competition previously, Harvey’s (Seigne’s younger brother) picked up a lot of wickets and has been good with the bat.

“We’ve also got some explosive batters who can take a game away from a team. We haven’t even got our professional here yet (Ayaz Tasawar), who should be arriving over the next couple of weeks.

“We believe we’re a handy T20 side, and we feel we have a good chance to progress through the group stages.”

Seigne is Eagley through and through, so taking over the captaincy from Martin Eccles is a significant moment for the 23-year-old, four years brother Harvey’s senior.

“I’ve played for Eagley since I was under-nines,” he continued. “So, becoming first-team captain is a proud moment. I’m excited to take on the challenge.”

Seigne did not actually play last season having been in Australia. He played winter club cricket in Melbourne before opting to stay on during The UK’s home summer to work.

“I found the club out there, Carnegie South, pretty similar to how it is at Eagley,” he said. “We’ve got a great team atmosphere, and we’ve all been friends for a long time. That helps on and off the field.”

Seigne has seen encouragement amidst a mixed start to the season. They have won two of four matches in the league and Hamer Cup and were not over-run in a league defeat against champions Little Lever when they posted a respectable 203-7 batting first.

They were beaten by Farnworth at home on Saturday.

“We’ve had a couple of good wins, one in the Hamer Cup and one in the league,” said the skipper. “We’ve had some good individual performances in that.

“We believe we have a strong side who can compete with the best of them, as we showed against Little Lever the Saturday before last. And we’d love a couple of cup runs.”

Eagley are placed in Group Three South in the Birtwistle Cup alongside Astley Bridge, Blackrod, Brinscall, Lostock and Tonge.

Each team plays five games, with the top two in each of the four groups qualifying through to the quarter-finals on June 28 before Finals Day the following month.

Conference Premier side Barrowford have been invited into the competition to fill the space vacated by Settle, who left the NWCL last September.

Clearly, T20 is not just about on-field performances, with clubs relying on revenue the increased evening and weekend crowds can bring.

“In the past, we’ve had lot of barbecues with music on. We definitely like to get a big night going for T20s,” added Seigne.

“We try to raise a bit of money for the club and get a good atmosphere going. That’s what T20’s all about, isn’t it. Get a fast-paced game going for people to come and watch.”