Haverhill’s promotion chances of an automatic return to division one have received a huge boost with the re-signing of Sam Powell.
The 25-year-old opening batsman has opted to rejoin Haverhill for what looks likely to be just one season before he moves away from the area to start a new job in September.
His arrival will significantly enhance Haverhill’s chances of returning to the top division of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship following their relegation in September.
Having been attending Haverhill’s winter nets, Powell registered with them last week - turning down options elsewhere.
He said: “There were a lot of clubs I could have gone to.
“I could have joined Cambridge Granta in the (Gibbs Denley East Anglian) Premier League or gone to Saffron Walden but I wanted to go somewhere where I was comfortable and happy and playing with the guys I grew up playing with.
“Division Two is still a good level of cricket but it’s more that I wanted something local where I knew people and I wanted to have a social life too.
“This is my last year of being in Cambridge and I wanted to go out with a bang before I go down to London.
“While I’m still young enough and good enough I don’t want to be playing five leagues below where I should be playing.”
Powell left Sawston after the club decided to stop using overseas and contracted players and rebuild using younger local players.
The club also voluntarily dropped their first team down from the Tucker Gardner Premier League Division One to Division Two.
Powell last played first team cricket for Haverhill against Exning in September 2011, before moving to Sawston.
Last season he was Sawston’s leading run scorer (and the sixth highest in the league) in Division One as they finished third in the table, plundering 630 runs from 19 innings at an average of 37.06, with three 50s and one century - 156 against Waresley.
A reliable slip fielder, Powell also pouched 11 catches - the most in the team - and took eight wickets.
Powell believes Haverhill has every chance of winning promotion from Division Two, saying: “There’s a couple of other good sides in the league that are really going for promotion, but I think we stand a good chance.
“The whole point is to get promoted again and give the youngsters at the club a real good go so they are ready for next year in Division One.”
Haverhill skipper, Joe Woodley, was delighted by the signing.
He said: “It’s a massive signing. I’m very pleased and all the boys are very excited. We welcome him back with open arms.
“He’s going to be a vital player with both bat and ball from what I’ve seen in the nets.”