Bury St Edmunds Cricket Club will be putting their faith in youth as they get their 2015 East Anglian Premier League campaign under way.
A trio of 16 and 17-year-olds will all set to be given a big chance to establish themselves in the highest level of regional cricket, starting with Bury’s opener at Horsford tomorrow (11am).
Ben and Tom Curran, sons of second-team veteran player Nick, will be in the side along with Ben Whittaker, the son of chairman Paul.
And senior player and former captain Justin Bishop has no qualms they can do the club proud, saying the club’s target will be simply to finish above rivals Woolpit and Copdock to claim the title of Suffolk’s top side and put a disappointing 2014 behind them.
“They are all promising players and it is time to blood them,” he said of the trio who have played a handful of first-team games between them already.
“Being in the team, at the top level, is the best place for them to learn, but we will not expect too much from them.
“It is the first time in years I can say Bury are producing players to come through, as we haven’t really seen any since the likes of Josh Davey, who played in the World Cup, and Simon Reeves.”
With Suffolk captain Tom Huggins having left for lower-league Sudbury over the summer, along with youngster Adam Mansfield, former Essex player Micahel Comber will step up to captain the side.
South African first-class experienced player Tyler Lortan has been signed up as Bury’s overseas professional.
The 23-year-old batsman and leg spinner has experience in England, as well as in South Africa with KwaZulu-Natal Inland, though he is currently seeking to gain New Zealand citizenship in an attempt to play for their national team after moving there.
“He has played over here in the north of England for the last couple of seasons and done pretty well and is used to the conditions in England,” said Bishop, who believes Bury have been too dependent on a few individuals in the last few seasons.
Last year became a forgettable campaign with only the runs of Huggins seeing them finish third-from-bottom and avoid the ignominy of finishing last in a season where a relegation place was suspended after Clacton’s withdrawal.
“Last year was quite hard to maintain motivation during the course of the season with no relegation,” said Bishop. “Saying that, we did not play that great cricket and we have become too reliant on people, mainly the runs and wickets of Tom Huggins.
“People need to stand up and be counted now he has gone.”
Leg spinner Russell Stockdale (Australia) is the only other player who has left, while Worlington’s bowling star Sean Cooper has come in.
Ben Curran is set to open the batting with Bishop.