Exciting developments have taken place over the winter at Chichester Priory Park Cricket Club – on and off the field.
There’s a variety of new sponsors, but the main team backer this year is wealth investment management company Rathbones.
Chairman Graeme Bennison has secured grant money to redevelop the net facilities. Work should start soon.
Captain Mark Bamford said: “We’ve worked hard on the recruitment side with Simon Hasted joining the club after playing representative cricket in Dorset.
“Hasted is a very secure top-order batsmen and excellent fielder – he should be, as in the football season he plays in goal for Bosham!
“On the batting front, Will Langmead has joined from Pulborough. They were unable to escape the drop from the Sussex Premier League and securing top-flight cricket is important to him as he’s been playing for Cambridge University Centre of Excellence (UCCE).
“We’re optimistic his professional approach to training will supplement the excellent work being done by our club coach Richard Browning.”
Family commitments mean Richard Logan, Chichester’s coach since 2009, has decided to play cricket closer to his home in Hampshire. But Browning has taken over and built on Logan’s professional approach.
Browning has coached with players such as Chris Tremlett and Kevin Pietersen and Chichester have already used some of the drills the England team have adopted.
Two more key players have joined. Chris Kirkham has returned after missing the 2011 season because he was in Australia. Bamford said: “Chris is an experienced Premier League cricketer and is one of the most gifted natural strokemakers I have played with. In my opinion he’s one of the best batsmen in the league – and that includes any Sussex contracted players.
“The second is a replacement for Matt Gregory, our Australian overseas player from last year.
“Although not a direct replacement in terms of his skill set, we expect exciting performances from Adam Zampa. Adam’s a fine young player from New South Wales who has represented their second XI and has won the under-19 World Cup with his country.
“Adam is a high-quality leg spinner and top-order batsmen who played with Monty Panesar during the winter. Through Monty’s recommendation, we asked Richard Browning to liaise with the pair and we’re delighted he agreed to join us.”
The club’s junior section goes from strength to strength. Led by Alex Greenlees, the coaches look after a vast number of male and female young cricketers.
Bamford added: “We are starting to see the fruits of their labours as all four senior teams at the club have a high number of young cricketers who have developed under their tutelage.
“It’s set to be an exciting year.”
Get all the local cricket reports, pictures, fixtures and results in the Observer every Thursday - follow @stevebone1 on Twitter for news and results.
Send cricket reports and other news to email@example.com