Exciting signings give Papplewick confidence for new cricket season

COMMANDER IN CHIEF -- crack bowler Jim Rhodes will be Papplewick and Linby's captain again.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF -- crack bowler Jim Rhodes will be Papplewick and Linby's captain again.

As the new cricket season gets under way this weekend, confident PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY are dreaming of a return to the elite Notts Premier League (NPL).

After the demise of Rolls-Royce Leisure, Papplewick are one of only two big-gun clubs in the Dispatch district -- the other being HUCKNALL, who start their 2015 programme in the Gunn And Moore South Notts League (SNL) on Saturday 2nd May.

Both are flourishing off the field and both boast admirable youth sections. For example, Papplewick report turnouts of more than 100 youngsters at their Friday night coaching nets.

But it’s promotion to the NPL that both will be concentrating on in the middle. And although they have lost two of their best players, Papplewick have landed two exciting signings for their campaign in The Championship of the Bassetlaw League where they finished third last term.

Ross Fitz-John has returned to his native New Zealand to complete his studies for a degree, while Mark Nelson has opted against another summer of travelling from the south Midlands after his wife gave birth to a baby. But in come exciting all-rounders Justin Brathwaite and Shaharyar Aslam to fill their shoes.

Barbadian Brathwaite, who will be the club’s professional, is an explosive batsman who scored 711 runs in the league for Clipstone last term. While ex-Rolls player Shaharyar arrives from Notts Unity Casuals where he amassed 839 runs in the SNL in 2014, finishing third in the batting charts, above even Hucknall hotshots Robin Maxwell and Dale Campbell.

“We are feeling positive,” said chairman Neil South. “We started last season slowly. This time, we want to start on the front foot.”