In their 175th anniversary year, Bridgnorth Cricket Club are delighted to confirm the recruitment of New Zealander Jamie Brown as their overseas player for 2014. Twenty year old Jamie is a right arm opening bowler who plays for Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club in the Auckland Premier Grade Men’s Competition, where his team-mates include current Black Cap Internationals Mitchell McCleneghan, Colin Munro (who have both joined Worcestershire CCC this summer) and Kyle Mills.
During the New Zealand summer he has had opportunities to share new ball duties at club level with stars Mills and McCleneghan. He is coached at HPCC by ex-Kiwi International and Worcestershire all-rounder Dipak Patel, who contacted his good friend and former team-mate at New Road, Paul Pridgeon, asking if he knew of a Club that was looking for an opening bowler. Shrewsbury School Cricket Professional Pridgeon spoke to Ian Roe at Bridgnorth, who jumped at the chance of acquiring Jamie's services after speaking to 1st XI Captain Mark MacPherson-Lees and Joint Club Chairman Steve Caine.
Upon confirmation of his recruitment, Jamie said, "The opportunity to play for Bridgnorth Cricket Club is fantastic. I'm really excited at the prospect and hope to re-pay the faith that Bridgnorth has put in me, and show the town and the league what I have to offer on the cricket pitch. The club appears to have been very competitive last season and I cannot wait to get started. I have been in the UK for a few weeks now and have settled in well, and enjoying living in Bridgnorth. It’s a great town, and the members and supporters have made me feel very welcome."
"My main ambition is to win titles, so hopefully we can develop as a team, get into that winning habit, and if I have personal success along the way then that is a bonus - contributing to a win is always far sweeter! The prospect of learning from the more experienced players within the senior Club ranks also really excites me, as I am still learning with each game I play. Dipak spoke very highly of the club, and it is hard to get a kind word out of that bloke, so I really cannot wait to get started!"
MacPherson-Lees was delighted with such a notable acquisition. "We have been searching for an opening bowler since the departure of Jono Whitney last year, and are looking forward to having Jamie in our ranks."
"Losing someone of Jono's experience created a big hole in the 1st XI, and our talented younger players still need some time to develop, by honing their skills in the 2nds and 3rds. But we will be monitoring their progress and if we feel they are good enough to step up, they will. This will encourage our more experienced players to work hard by attending our mid-week coaching sessions and keep performing well at weekends.
He continued, "We have been working hard over the winter to add players to our squad, which now includes the returning Herefordshire captain Dave Exall from Brockhampton and Ludlow's Ryan Lockley. We also welcome all-rounder Joe Chadwick from Shifnal, opening bat Alex Yarnley, has moved into the area from Chadlington CC in Oxfordshire, and we must not forget to welcome home former Bridgnorth opening bowler Toby Hughes. He will soon be teaching at Wolverhampton Grammar School and will be available from mid-June, and will be a valuable member of the senior squad".
Cricket Chairman, Jonathan Martin added, "Bridgnorth Cricket Club prides itself on playing good standards of cricket at all levels. The addition of these experienced players to our squad will strengthen our senior ranks. Also we are delighted to see many youngsters coming through that started their journey at our Friday evening coaching sessions, and progressing to club and county age group sides. We have plenty of depth and hopefully this will take us forward during what the club hopes to be a very successful 2014 both on and off the field of play."
Jamie is seen receiving his club playing shirt from Cricket Chairman Jonathan Martin and Club Development Officer Ian Roe
Updated 21:18 - 5 Mar 2014 by Alex Thomas