Overseas recruit in form
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.
Adam Ball – switched from Bexley