BOSTON Cricket Club have swooped for their second signing in as many weeks - snapping up Australian wicketkeeper Matt Ward.
The 22-year-old will replace Lee Brooks, who will be staying in Manchester this summer, where he currently studies.
Ward’s signing is announced a week after Boston CC confirmed former List A bowler Elliot Wilson has joined the club as a player and coach.
Ward - who has appeared for Ballarat and Central Highlands under 21s - also has a Cricket Australia Orientation to Coaching qualification
He is currently playing for Mount Clear in the Ballarat Cricket Association.
He has been a part of the first grade squad for the past four seasons as a wicketkeeper and middle order batsman.
His performances in recent seasons earned him selection in the region’s under 21s side during 2009/10, where he helped the team go on to win the State Final.
The 2009/10 club season saw Ward score 270 runs in his nine innings at an average of 30.
His highest score of 64 showed his ability to contribute with the bat as well as with the gloves.
This season, Ward has recorded his top score to date with an innings of 94 contributing to his 230 runs at 25.9.
He has also picked up 22 dismissals with the gloves, 19 of which were catches, plus three stumpings.
These statistics have resulted in a spot in the top 15 run scorers in the first grade competition as well as leading the way with number of dismissals.
Boston Firsts captain Paul Timby believes he is putting together ateam that will challenge in the Lincs ECB Premier.
He told The Standard: “Our first aim is to improve on last season’s place in the league (Boston finished in 10th spot).
“I believe we have a strong team here and will be able to compete against anyone else.
“I’m not saying we’re going to go on and win the league, but I feel that teams won’t look forward to playing us.”
Boston will be without the services of Australian Dan Milgate this season, as he has chosen not to extend his stay at Rosebery Avenue.
But with players like batsman Jonathan Cheer - recently named as the county’s top young player - and his brother Colin, a bowler, Timby feels Boston have a strong young squad in place.
He added: “Both have been called up to the Lincolnshire squad recently.
“Colin has now made his debut and we hope Jonathan will get his chance soon.
“It shows we are able to bring good young players through at this club.”
Boston CC are calling on local businesses and members of the community to go ‘all out’ and help with their spring clean.
The club will be hosting the NatWest Cricket Force event on the weekend of April 9 and 10.
The event, sponsored by NatWest and backed by the English Cricket Board, attempts to help clubs spruce up their facilities at the start of the new season, by bringing people together to get the job done.
“We’re asking people to come down and help paint the changing rooms, help tidy up the showers or something similar,” said First XI captain Paul Timby.
“If there are any businesses who would like to come down and help we’ll make sure they get the right publicity.
“It would also be a great opportunity for people who want to know more about the club to come down.”
Anyone interested in doing their bit at the Sportsman, at the bottom of Rosebery Avenue, can turn up on the day or contact Mr Timby on 077300 59 355 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who helps out will get a free ECB/NatWest T-shirt.