Over­seas re­cruit in form

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sports - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Ten­ter­den Cricket Club have con­firmed Bahrat Po­pli as their over­seas sign­ing for the 2016 sea­son.

The 25-year-old In­dian-born New Zealand bats­man re­places South African all-rounder Leus du Plooy who had hoped to re­turn, be­fore be­ing se­lected for the coun­try’s Na­tional Academy pro­gramme.

The club have also an­nounced the sign­ing of Kent all-rounder Adam Ball, who joins county team-mate Sam Weller at Morghew Park.

New Delhi-born right-han­der Po­pli plays for North­ern Dis­tricts, and is cur­rently in­volved in New Zealand’s Plun­ket Shield pro­gramme, hit­ting 55 and 94 in his side’s eight-wicket de­feat by Can­ter­bury in Hamil­ton ear­lier this week. He also scored 133 against Cen­tral Dis­tricts in Napier at the be­gin­ning of the month.

Po­pli has scored more than 1,000 runs in 16 first class matches, av­er­ag­ing 43.00.

Ball has switched from Bex­ley, link­ing up with for­mer county age-group team-mates Ali Neale, Tyler Grf­fin and Ben Price.

He said: “I am look­ing for­ward to a fresh new chal­lenge play­ing for a dif­fer­ent club and with a few of the guys I grew up play­ing with.”

How­ever, the for­mer Eng­land un­der-19 cap­tain added: “I hope I don’t play too much due to be­ing with Kent.

“This is quite a big sea­son for me and am feel­ing re­freshed and ready to have a suc­cess­ful sum­mer for the county.”

Weller, who left this week on Kent’s 10-day trip to the Global Cricket School in Mum­bai, said: “It’s an ex­cit­ing time for Ten­ter­den and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

“The boys are all top lads, who are look­ing to ce­ment their place in the top divi­sion and given me a warm wel­come.”

Ten­ter­den have been handed a tough start with an open­ing day visit to 2014 win­ners Sevenoaks Vine on May 7, fol­lowed by host­ing de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Hart­ley the fol­low­ing week,

Mean­while, Ian Price has been re-ap­pointed club chair­man, suc­ceed­ing Roy Is­worth, who re­placed him 12 months ago when he stepped down due to other com­mit­ments.

He said: “It is an ex­cit­ing time for the club, on and off the field, and im­por­tant we make the most of it.”

Coun­trystyle Re­cy­cling, owned by Pluck­ley res­i­dent Trevor Heathcote are the club’s new kit spon­sor.

Mr Price added: “They have their roots in com­mu­nity cricket and are the pri­mary spon­sors of Kent’s pro­gramme.

Guy Day is the new club trea­surer.

The play­ers are con­tin­u­ing the build-up with weekly win­ter nets at the John Wal­lis Academy in Ash­ford.

Pic­ture: Barry Good­win

Adam Ball – switched from Bex­ley

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