Old Hill primed for the new campaign

NEW Old Hill CC skipper Dan Cox expects an exciting season after a winter of upheaval.

The Haden Hill Park outfit are preparing for another assault on Birmingham League Division One title after a close season of many comings-and-going, the most high-profile of which was the departure of former captain Nathan Round.

There have also been changes off the pitch and Cox for one is relishing his new role.

He said: “It’s going to be exciting, it’s an exciting time for the club.

“It’s really freshened things up. We have a bunch of young players who are hungry for success.”

Round was one of three players to leave for Premier Division Himley, along with Dan Wood and Ashfak Hussein, while wicketkeeper Mark Fisher has gone to West Bromwich Dartmouth.

There have been plenty of arrivals too, with Sri Lankan all-rounder Dimitri Ratnayake, who played three first-class games for Loughborough MCCU in 2011 against Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Kent coming in.

Seamer Seb Soukup has made the step up from Worcestershire League side Oldswinford, while overseas star Mattheus Treuberg is also expected to shine with the ball.

Wicketkeeper Ian Walker has arrived from Wombourne, Arsalaan Mahmood has switched from Attock and George Hill make the short trip from Halesowen.

While Kate Dicken has take over as coach.

Cox is optimistic on his team’s chances but is refusing to make too many predictions.

He said: “There is no denying we have lost four quality and experienced players.

“From my personal view the team’s aim this season has to be consolidation. That’s what we have set out to do.”

n Halesowen are targeting a successful season in Birmingham League Division Two after a busy winter.

Former Stourbridge all-rounder’s James Musk and Oliver Hill are the pick of the new arrivals at Seth Somers Park.

Musk took 45 wickets last season in Worcestershire League Division One and will be stepping up two levels to play for Halesowen.

Hill, who has played for Herefordshire in the past, will also be returning to cricket after a two year absence. Other additions include bowlers Matt Jeavons and Jack Warren.

Hales final position of ninth last term was somewhat distorted by a significant points deduction and skipper Wes Griffiths is confident his side will be challenging near the top.

Halesowen have won one and lost one of their two pre-season games and open their league campaign with a trip to Cannock.

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