Familiar figures in East Anglian Premier League are back in the fold to boost Cambridge Cricket Club
Cambridge will have a number of new players in their ranks this summer, although two of them will be familiar East Anglian Premier League figures.
It has been difficult for most teams to bring in overseas players given the current situation, but Cambridge’s earmarked contender was already on these shores.
Australian Zaheer Hussain was in England on a two-year work visa with PricewaterhouseCoopers, having arrived in December.
“Zaheer got in touch and he has played a good standard in Australia, first-grade cricket in both Sydney and Melbourne, so is a welcome addition and it will be good to get him out there,” said Cambridge captain Lewys Hill.
“He is a middle order batsman, will probably bat in the top five somewhere, and bowls leg spin as well.”
Their other two arrivals will be returning to the EAPL, after time away in the Two Counties League and Cambs & Hunts Premier League respectively.
“Raj Singh has come back (from Haverhill) so we’re looking forward to him joining the lads again, opening the bowling and having that consistency,” said Hill.
“The other player that has joined is Peter Richer, who has played Premier League cricket before at Burwell but has had a couple of seasons away to play for Thriplow.
“He has got lots of Premier League runs, is a very good fielder as well and is also quite a handy bowler. He will come in as an all-rounder and add a lot to the team.”
In the limited overs competition, Cambridge are in the north group alongside Burwell & Exning, Swardeston, Horsford, Mildenhall and Great Witchingham.
They start the season away to Horsford on Saturday.
“I think it’s good for everyone who does it as a hobby and looks forward to it throughout the summer to be able to get back out there and socialise, but obviously not too close to each other!” said Hill.
“It’s a great way to bed some of the new players in, without it being uber serious.
“When you’re playing Premier League cricket, regardless of anything riding on it or not, everyone is very competitive and wants to win.
“It should be an enjoyable time, so it will be good to get going.”
There will be no official winner this season, so the teams will be playing for bragging rights without the stresses of striving for a place towards the top of the table or the pressures of relegation.
Hill said: “The fact we will be playing coloured ball and coloured kit for the whole period is a good idea as a lot of cricket is going that way.
“It will be a good chance to test that out and see how it goes.”
It will also give some of the younger players an opportunity to impress and make the step up if they wish, with the seconds playing in the Cambs and Hunts Premier League.
“I think it comes down to availability, who’s about and who wants to play,” said Hill.
“I came through that route many years ago to play in the first team so I do want to give that system its chance, and anyone who wants to play could get their chance.
“Anyone who is performing and has those aspirations will definitely be looked at.”