FRINTON Cricket Club will have a new overseas player for their Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League curtain-raiser on Saturday.
The club begin with a home match against Norwich and Barbadian Kemar Smith, a 23-year-old all-rounder, should be in their line-up for the match at Ashlyns Road (11am start).
Smith, the younger brother of West Indies Test star Dwayne, is due to arrive in England tomorrow, having just completed three years’ service in the Barbados Defence Force.
Frinton’s intended overseas player, Australian Jay Chislett, made a late decision not to come to England.
It left them searching for a replacement but they are now delighted to have secured Smith through the club’s long-standing relationship with the Barbados Cricket Association.
Depending on his other commitments, the club also hope Dwayne may be able to drop in and make an appearance at Ashlyns Road during the summer.
Smith senior has played for Barbados since the start of his career but also spent three seasons with Sussex, from 2008 to 2010.
He has become a sought-after Twenty20 player, making appearances in the Indian Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Pakistan Super League and for New South Wales in the Australian competition.
He announced his retirement from international cricket in March.
Skipper Kyran Young’s Frinton finished sixth last season, having been runners-up to champions Swardeston in 2015.
They will be hoping to challenge for the title this summer and head into the new season in fine fettle and with a couple of other new signings on board, in addition to Smith.
Former Clacton cricketer Mike Comber, who went on to play for Essex, has joined from EAPL rivals Bury while youngster Ismail Dar has been drafted in from Essex League side Wanstead and Snaresbrook.
Key seamer Mervyn Westfield has spent a couple of weeks training in South Africa during pre-season while wicketkeeper Thomas Benn has benefited from a stint playing in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, Frinton’s second team begin their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one campaign with a trip to Woolpit on Saturday.
The club’s North Essex League championship-winning team suffered a surprise defeat at Wivenhoe in their opening premier division match on Sunday.
Frinton only had ten players and after winning the toss elected to bat.
An uneventful start saw the visitors reach 31 without loss, although skipper Tom Sinclair received a blow on the head from Liam Hope-Shackley.
Sinclair was eventually forced to retire and seek precautionary advice at hospital.
Frinton slipped to 93 for six, before Sam Byrnes (49), accompanied by Tony Stubbs (13) and Lewis Catlow (22), saw the Seasiders up to their total of 173.
The home side then secured a six-wicket victory, with Catlow (two for 47) the most successful of the Frinton bowlers.
Frinton hosted a match between Essex’s second XI and their counterparts from Norfolk.
Essex won by 201 runs, thanks to Kishen Velani (101), Paul Walter (77), Joe Buttleman (44), RK Patel (39), Matt Dixon (three for 23) and Matt Quinn (three for 26).