Mar 082021

HEYWOOD have pulled of a new signing amid encouraging signs that the 2021 campaign may be starting on the April 17 date proposed by the Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL) – or soon after.

He is Caleb Grant, an Australian who moved to England some years ago and more recently has been playing for Nelson in the Lancashire League.

In the 2018 season he took more than 40 wickets opening the bowling for Nelson, and he is also a more than useful with the bat, scoring more than 50 on at least one occasion.

A further bonus is that he is keen to partake in coaching with the Crimble junior section, which is switching the majority of its training to Thursday evenings with the seniors returning to Tuesdays. There will be more to follow on this as Maddy White will remain at Crimble and will be running her popular coaching camp again and another boost for the club as popular league professional Clinton Perren will also be supporting training nights.

Heywood have also made an offer to another potential first team player and are awaiting his decision.

Cricket chairman Roger Smethurst views the signing as important to bolstering the first team squad following the news that James Kettleborough is not returning to the club following his decision to buy a house in the Stafford area.

He said: “Caleb will be a very welcome to the first team squad following the news that James Kettleborough is unable to return.

“We are continuing to try and sign one further player . We have made him an offer and are awaiting a decision on whether he will sign.”

Meanwhile, the GMCL Board has issued a statement about the prospects for starting the new 2021 season as planned on April 17.

It says: “We have now considered the most recent guidance and welcome the decision to permit outdoor grassroots cricket from March 29th, 2021.

“This position is dependent on further guidance from the ECB, Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which of course is dependent on further progress in fighting Covid-19.

“All things considered, and with no further bumps along the way, we fully expect the GMCL open-age season to start on Saturday, April 17th, with some restrictions, adaptive play regulations and clubs being required to follow relevant guidance.

“The GMCL Board does not expect more detailed information until mid-March at the earliest.”

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