Kimberley all set for new season

Kimberley captain Sam Ogrizovic
Kimberley captain Sam Ogrizovic

Kimberley Institute will begin the new Nottinghamshire Premier League cricket season on Saturday with a home clash against Rolls Royce.

There have been several changes in the playing squad during the off season with three departures and four new signings.

Last season’s professionals Akhil Patel and Dan Birch have moved on to West Indian Cavaliers and Rolls Royce respectively, and Matt Wright, after several seasons of topping the KICC bowling charts, has left for Mansfield Hosiery Mills.

Despite having his vice-captain taken from under his nose by a Premier League rival, skipper Sam Ogrizovic has three new faces to bolster his bowling options.

Left-arm quick Atif Sheikh fills in one of the professional roles and Alex King (off-spin) and Ben Savage (seam) have joined from Wollaton where, despite their team’s poor season in 2012, they took 61 wickets between them with King finishing second in the NPL bowling charts.

On the batting side Kimberley have looked overseas and recruited New Zealander Bharat Popli forthe 2013 season.

Popli plays for Northern District’s A side and Bay of Plenty CC, where he averaged over 60 last season.

Ogrizovic said: “Obviously it is disappointing to lose Matt Wright, but we have recruited two of the brightest young talents in the league in Alex and Ben.

“Alongside them, Atif gives us a bit of ‘oomph’ with the ball and I can’t wait to see Bharat in action with the bat.

“The emphasis of 2013 is very much on developing the talent and building a sustainable side.”

Much of Kimberley’s sustainability has come from the constant flow of young talent into the sideand King and Savage join an already young squad.

Dominic Brown’s emergence in the latter part of last season is testament to that, as was the growing maturity of Dominic Wheatley with the new ball.

Paldip Sidhu, meanwhile has become the new vice-captain, a role Ogrizovic has no doubts he wil fulfill well.

“During the off-season we spoke about the need for first XI players to take responsibilities in other areas of the club and I have been delighted by the way Paldip has stepped forward,” he said.

“I am certain the role of vice captain will help him develop as a player, and it also fits in with our mentality of developing the younger players at the club.”

Another new appointment is that of Chris Glover as head coach.

The Advertiser columnist is a very experienced coach having worked within ECB coach education for a year, run his own ‘Free Hit’ coaching clinics and also attained a number of coaching badges.

He has most recently been involved in coaching hockey over the past four seasons at Beeston where he has had notable success and was shortlisted for the England Hockey Club Coach of the Year award last season.

He said: “This is an exciting challenge, working with a group of players I have come to know very well over the last two seasons.

“My philosophy is about working hard and having a clear idea of the area in which you want to improve, so I have been asking the group to think about what aspects of their own performance they want to better in 2013.

“Our pre-season preparation has been excellent and I can’t wait to start the season.”