Oakham Cricket Club are seeking support to bring in an Australian all-rounder to drive their promotion charge in Ashes year.
Club captain Nick Begy said Oakham hope to secure the services of Robert Batch from Essendon CC in the state of Victoria. But before the club can confirm his spell in Rutland, they hope to find a host family and part-time work for the 20-year-old.
Batch’s travel arrangements will be covered by an Australian-based cricketing charity that helps players spend time in Britain. Once here, however, he or the club must cover his expenses and Oakham are not in a position to pay a player.
“We have this opportunity where a talented lad wants to play for us but we do not have the money. So we are desperately keen to get sponsorship to help him.
“We need to find him accommodation and part time employment and are hoping we can find a local business who may be able to sponsor him with part time employment as we try and find him local lodging as well.”
It is more than a decade since Oakham recruited an overseas player but Begy is hopeful that Batch will be able to play for the Saturday and Sunday sides and offer coaching to Oakham’s younger players.
Begy reckons the Aussie could provide the boost Oakham need to move towards the top of the table. In return, Batch will gain experience of cricket in the unpredictable English climate and far different conditions to those he would be familiar with down under.
“He’s a batsman and a bowler and a qualified coach,” said Oakham’s club captain.
“The aim is to have him playing both days. We still have to see how good this guy is but we are really hoping that he will help us towards promotion.”
Begy reckons the first XI, skippered by Matt Ozman, has a genuine chance of challenging for honours in the Everards Leicestershire League’s third division.
Top young batsman Bhavin Shukla has committed himself to the Lime Kilns this summer, and a combination of experience and youth with the likes of Chris Larsen and Rory Brown, who will also skipper the Sunday side in the Rutland League, will form a strong spine for the team.
Anybody who can help Oakham bring in their Aussie star should call Nick Begy on 07890 530477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org