Chesterfield Cricket Club open their season at Queen’s Park on Saturday with a Premier League match against reigning league champions Sandiacre, who can also claim to be the best side in England after winning last year’s national club competition.
There are a number of changes in the Chesterfield squad following the retirement of long-time player and captain Simon Lacey, with Drage Thompson taking over as club captain and a number of new players joining the club.
Nitish Kamur has signed as an overseas player after making his mark for Canada in ICC competitions and the young 20-year-old early order batsman will help to cover for Ben Slater, whose appearances for Chesterfield will be limited if he continues his excellent early season form for Derbyshire.
The availability of both Ross Whiteley with Worcestershire and newly-signed Harvey Hosein (Derbyshire) will depend on county calls but Matt Higgnbottom will be regularly available after his release from Derbyshire and he will take on the vice captaincy role.
Other new signings include the welcome return of Alex Hibbert as well as Mat Roberts (from Rolls Royce Nottingham), Louis Hurst (Ockbrook), Shahrukh Khan (Sheffield Collegiate), Callum Hiron (Clay Cross) and Billy Holmes (Stainsby Hall).
On the same day that Chesterfield FC played at Barnsley’s Oakwell Stadium, Chesterfield CC played Barnsley at Queen’s Park in a warm-up game in preparation for the start of the new season.
New captain Thompson said: “We are all looking forward to the start of the new season with a considerably strengthened side.
“The arrival of Nitish as our overseas player and the return of Alex Hibbert strengthens our batting and we have some exceptional younger signings who will contribute with bat and ball as well as adding so much in the field.
“With three county players playing when available we are looking to improve on a disappointing 2014 with a top four finish this year but firstly we need to focus on the game against Sandiacre on Saturday.”