All-rounder Roberts arrives as Boston CC prepare to begin SLBL Premier season

John Goodfellow.
John Goodfellow.

Boston Cricket Club’s First XI will begin their South Lincs and Border League Premier Division season this weekend.

The Mayflower men are looking to return to the Lincs ECB Premier at the second attempt.

Tom Baxter.

Tom Baxter.

And in their quest for glory, they have welcomed experienced all-rounder Paul Roberts into the ranks.

Roberts has previously played for defending county top flight champions Sleaford, at both First and Second XI level.

“It’s a great signing for us,” said Boston captain Tom Baxter. “He scored runs in the ECB Premier League last year.

“He should bring runs and wickets to the team but, most valuably, some much-needed experience in what is still a very young side.”

Paul Roberts.

Paul Roberts.

Indeed, Roberts’ experience will be vital early on as Boston begin the campaign without unavailable bowler Paul Deans, last season’s leading wicket taker.

“To take 55 wickets out of a team is always going to be a massive loss, but the fact he goes for next to nothing off his 12 is vitally important,” added Baxter, who is now calling on his teammates to make the step up.

“It does give others the chance to show what they can do with the ball.

“We have plenty of people that know what to do with the ball and we need those people to stand up and be counted this year.”

Another change to the Boston set-up has seen Tony Baxter return to the club and take on the role of chairman, following a stint with Friskney CC.

The Fists will begin their campaign on Saturday, at home to newly-promoted Long Sutton.

Long Sutton stormed to the SLBL Division One title last season, only losing one game in the process.

Baxter added: “They were too good for Division One and will finish towards the top this year in the Premier Division.

“They will be a good side and could be the surprise package.”

Boston finished fourth in the SLBL Premier Division last season, after challenging for much of the campaign.

The Mayflower men will be expected to improve on that in 2014, but Baxter said the aims may be slightly different this year.

“We missed out last year because the pressure was on towards the end of the season. We messed it up,” he admitted.

“We will approach the season one game at a time. We go out there trying to win every game.

“However, if we don’t turn up prepared and with the right attitude, it could be difficult.

“Billingborough (the promoted champions) only lost one game last year and they won the league. The team that wins the league will not be able to lose more than two.

“There are some good sides in this league but we just need to look after ourselves.”

Boston have started training outdoors and are making use of the services of qualified coach Warren Nel.

Nel has come in to work with the whole senior section at Boston.

“This is a major plus,” added Baxter.