Haverhill Cricket Club looking forward to a bright future after a number of comings and goings
Following a number of comings and goings this winter, captain Liam Botten is relishing the ‘new direction’ in which Haverhill Cricket Club are heading.
Long-serving Adam Dellar’s departure to Sudbury was confirmed before Christmas, and he has since been joined in heading through the exit door by Luke Youngs, Jamie Boulton, Anthony Phillips, Will Bailey and Ollie North.
Botten was disappointed with the manner in which some of those players left. But rather than lick their wounds, the club has been highly proactive when it comes to bolstering the ranks.
The stand-out arrival at Manor Road is that of Mohammad Chowdhury – an all-rounder with a vast amount of experience from franchise cricket across the globe.
He has been joined by an overseas player from South Africa – all-rounder Chris Garrard, who agreed to sign for the club last year, only for the Covid-19 pandemic to delay his arrival by 12 months.
Garrard is also connected to Bellville Cricket Club back in his homeland – one of Cape Town’s leading sides.
Khalid Saeed is an all-rounder with mystery spin who has most recently been turning out for Finnish Pakistani Club in Finland, while middle-order batsman and seam bowler Gisho John has just moved to the Haverhill area after playing for Croydon Lions in the Surrey League.
Completing the new arrivals is Mahi Mahfuzul, the top order batsman having previously represented Kent at under-17 and under-18 level, as well as Beckenham in the Kent Premier League.
Reflecting on a busy period, Botten said: “I was disappointed with the players that announced they were leaving on our WhatsApp (grouop), rather than speaking to me or the club first.
“If they’d come to me and explained their reasoning, I’d have been happy with that, but it wasn’t like that.
“But it has allowed us to really plan for the future. We wanted to go in a new direction as a club and we can now do that.
“We’ve got three Saturday sides, a ladies team, our Sunday team is back and we’ve got multiple juniors playing age group cricket for either Suffolk or Cambridgeshire.
“We’re excited about what these new signings will provide not only the first team, but the club as a whole. They have a lot of experience and we can all learn from them.”
Botten, who was appointed skipper of the first team last year, is particularly excited about the blend his squad now possesses.
With the new additions providing a wealth of know-how, he is confident it will help the young members of the team to flourish.
“In our last season we felt it was clear we had one of the best bowling attacks in Division One, but our batting was not up to scratch,” he said. “Now we feel that we have a top six to do the business in Division One.
“Mohammad is a big one. He’s been drafted in US cricket in a competition alongside the likes of Chris Gayle, Liam Plunkett and Andre Russell.
“He’s played for some big franchises and scored big runs.
“He did have a spell with Clacton in 2018 and perhaps didn’t show what he could do, so he is determined to prove himself.
“The likes of Chris plays for one of Cape Town’s biggest clubs and with Mahi, he plays in a league which Kent allow a lot of their players to play in, so he has plenty of experience.
“For our young lads like Callum Brunning, Max Egan and Sam Hartshorn, these players will help them to realise their potential.
“With the likes of Harry Harding and Dan Poole as well, we have the makings of a really good team.
“We won’t be saying we’ll be looking to win the league or anything like that, but we’ll certainly be looking at the top half rather than downwards.”