Newborough are splashing the cash in a bid to win promotion from Cambs Division Two.
The Bulls have hired Aussie gun Robbie ‘Bert’ Trickett for the summer and he’s on an incentive-based deal.
Trickett is being paid a pound for every run he scores in Cambs League cricket and he made a decent amount on the opening day of the season last weekend.
Trickett cracked 97 as Newborough piled up 233-5 against Fordham at St Martin’s Road. Four wickets for Andrew Gilbert and two apiece for new skipper Ali Greenwood, Vamshi Parvethaneni and Ashley Fisher helped bowl the visitors out for 146.
But it was Trickett who impressed club stalwart Ross Harris.
“I normally win the prize for most sixes in a season,” Harris said. “But I might struggle this season.
“Robbie looked very good. He was selective,but he hit every bad ball to the boundary. We offered him a pound a run because if he wasn’t any good, like our overseas player last season, it wouldn’t cost us much!
“As it happens I’d be surprised if Robbie doesn’t make 1,000 runs this season in the Cambs League even though he will have better opposition and worse pitches to play on for the rest of the summer.
“The most important thing though is he’s a lovely lad. The rest of the team have all taken to him very quickly.”
Newborough travel to newly promoted Burwell this Saturday (April 25).
The Division One title race might be a bit more wide open than some were speculating before a ball was bowled.
Reigning champions Ramsey were surprisingly beaten by Histon at Cricketfield Lane, while the Ketton Lions’ line-up is a fair bit stronger than wily skipper Rob Vitas was admitting to before the start of the season.
Ketton’s two top-class professionals Rob Woolley and Ajaz Akhtar are being supported this summer by a couple of high-class imports.
English qualified Australian Ben Bryant and Akhtar missed out in the eight-wicket win at March, but Woolley (67) and South African import Ulrich Van Duyker (4-27 & 31no) performed well.
Van Duyker collected a wicket with the first ball he bowled for Ketton.
There was also a welcome, if slightly surprising, contribution from one of the unsung Ketton heroes.
Jacob ‘Dusty’ Miller only opened because of a late player withdrawal, but he responded with the first top-flight half century of his Cambs League career.
Ketton will expect to make it two wins from two games when hosting Waresley at Pit Lane on Saturday.
Ramsey will be on a make-up mission at home to Foxton who, on paper at least, are a far more formidable side than Histon.
Rams’ skipper Taylor West was undone by his own postive approach as he declared four overs early and Histon promptly sealed a five-wicket win in the first of their extra overs.
That was tough on Ramsey opener James Markland who dominated his side’s 206-5 with an unbeaten innings of 111.
The Hunts League starts in earnest on Saturday.