Stony eager to get playing

Stony Stratford CC
Stony Stratford CC

After a long but busy winter break, there’s plenty to look forward to for Stony Stratford CC in 2014.

Stony remain the city’s only ECB Premier Division Club after 11 straight seasons in the Northants Cricket League Premier Division and they go into this summer hopeful of beating their best finish of fifth.

Stony will once again be led by Alex Strong and he will be delighted that the club has retained the vast majority of last year’s young squad.

Young Australian batsman Hayden Mullins will be the club’s professional this year.

He’ll be well supported by another newcomer, West Indian Akheam Fox. The St Kitts batsman is currently at university in Oxford and has jumped at the chance of playing Premier League cricket.

Northants youngsters Vicram Sohal and Russell White return, while keeper-batsman Tom Bradbeer joins from Northampton Saints.

Jarrod Pretorius showed his class at times last year and will look forward to batting in the middle of what looks to be a much stronger Stony batting order this year.

While runs have been hard to come by in recent seasons, wickets haven’t been.

Stony will be playing their 1st and 2nds games at Campbell Park again this summer and on what is comfortably the best pitch for batting in the league, Stony’s bowling strength will be essential to any success.

Captain Strong proved to be one of the league’s quickest bowlers last year, but there will be several observers keeping a keen eye Aaron Ashton.

After taking over 40 wickets for the 2nds last season, the 17-year-old has caught the eye of Northamptonshire, and also England – who have added him into their under 17 squad.

The pace of White and spin of Sohal will be key and they will be supported by veterans Graham Simpson and Steve Bellew.

Stony kick off their league campaign on Saturday April 26 with a tough trip to Finedon.