Haverhill Cricket Club secure overseas all-rounder as they turn eyes on top-flight push
Haverhill Cricket Club have unveiled their newest signing as overseas cricketer Christopher Garrard, an all-rounder from South Africa.
The 24-year-old has agreed terms with the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One club, subject to the league’s approval, and is set to arrive in time for the club’s pre-season friendly against Histon on April 11, ahead of the start of the season on April 18.
Garrard, who will be 25 when he arrives, hails from Bellville Cricket Club in Cape Town – a side that compete in the WPCA Premier Division, a standard somewhere between East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) cricket and Minor Counties Cricket.
The right-arm medium bowler and middle order batsman will, according to club captain Liam Botten, boost the opening bowling as well as add key runs from the middle-order.
“He’s exactly what we were looking for,” Botten said. “We needed an opening bowler to give us the best chance from the start of matches, as well as a middle-order batsman.
“I’m really pleased, the idea when I took over the captaincy was always to look to improve the team and this is part of the plan to get to the EAPL.
“It was the first thing I wanted to do, to look at the feasibility of bringing in an overseas cricketer.
“He will, we hope, add that five per cent extra we need to go from a middle-to-bottom Division One side to a promotion contender.
“In terms of talented English players, we are right up there with the best in the league, but we have been undone by other overseas players in the past – the reality is, other overseas players in other sides have hurt us in the past.
“We think this is what we need to become a cutting edge side.”
He confirmed that former club cricketer Chris Palmer – a Linton Granta football player – had also agreed to return.
“It’s all coming together,” Botten said. “Chris (Garrard) will be taking over a lot of the coaching at the club which will help from the first team, down to our junior section.
“I think bringing someone in from further afield will help us tap into a whole coaching world we don’t yet have access too, it’s great.”
He added that Haverhill’s link to England head coach Chris Silverwood, who lives locally but also used to play for the club, helped secure Garrard – who holds a UK passport and is keen to meet him.
“He does have ambitions to play higher,” Botten added. “Which is great for us as he’s always going to be looking to impress and improve, and we also benefit from our link to Chris (Silverwood).”
Haverhill will play two pre-season friendlies, against Sudbury II on April 4 – which will be a mixed team of first and second team players – before the first team will face Cambridgeshire & Huntingdonshire Premier League side Histon the following week.
Haverhill will then open their league campaign at home to Witham on Saturday, April 18.
More by this authorHannah Dolman