New Zealander Peter Younghusband to bring experience to Cambridge Cricket Club in East Anglian Premier League
Lewys Hill is relishing the start of the new East Anglian Premier League season after a busy winter at Cambridge Cricket Club.
After an inconsistent campaign in 2018, the club – formerly Cambridge Granta – have made some interesting additions to their squad.
And a number of players will also be making the step up from the successful second team.
“Going into every season, we’re always hopeful of competing,” said Hill, who took over the captaincy part way through last season.
“We’ve signed a few players this winter which is good so if everyone is fit and available then the team is looking pretty strong to me.
“We’ve got Dougie Rice back this year as well, because he was injured for most of last season, so that will strengthen the squad as he will be a big part of the season for sure.
“On paper, we’re definitely a strong team, we’ve got a lot of ability, a lot of youngsters as we always do, so it’s definitely an exciting season ahead.
“Credit to Johnny Atkinson as he has done a lot of player recruitment as always and done a pivotal part in getting those guys over so really good work over the winter and we’re looking forward to playing with them both.”
Headlining the new arrivals is Peter Younghusband.
The 29-year-old right-hand batsman and leg spin bowler has arrived from New Zealand, where he plays for Wellington.
He has also been involved in tests, one-day internationals and T20 fixturing as 12th man for the Black Caps.
“He’s a really good fielder as well which is a great thing to have at this level of cricket,” said Hill. “He has done 12th man duty for New Zealand.
“He is a well-known figure in the world of cricket so will be a great positive for us this year and we will be able to learn a lot off him.
“He was looking to play over here and we knew the right people who he was speaking to so we spoke to him early and sorted out a deal that he was happy with. He will be a fundamental part of the season for sure.”
Joining him in Cambridge is fellow Kiwi, 20-year-old Kieran Mackenzie, who bats middle order and is also a leg spinner.
Top order batsman Nick Taylor has played for Oxford University and will strengthen Cambridge’s batting line-up, while Michael Turner has arrived from Saffron Walden and will keep wicket for Cambridge and bat in the middle to lower order.
“Nick is a student who has played a couple of first-class games for the university and is part of the MCCU team so will come into the batting line-up,” said Hill. “Hopefully the top five or six will be strong, and obviously we’ve got Michael Pepper as well who’s still going to be around – he’s with Essex so as much as we can have him.”
Zaman Akhter is one of those making the step up from the promotion-winning second team.
“Zaman who played in the seconds a lot last year will be with the first team all season as long as he is fit and available,” said Hill.
“And there are a lot of players in the twos who are always on the cusp of being in the squad and will probably most likely feature throughout the the year when they are in form, scoring runs and taking wickets in the twos.”
Cambridge start their season at Sudbury, who have won the league for the last two seasons, so it will be a good chance to assess their early prospects.
But the aims remain modest.
“Everyone obviously wants to win the league so that is the ultimate goal – but we will take each game as it comes and will be putting a strategy in place to try to win each game, each weekend,” said Hill.