Notts Premier cricket new season preview

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The 2012 Nottinghamshire Cricket Board Premier League season kicks off this weekend with last year’s winners Clifton aiming to secure their fourth successive championship, a feat only bettered by the five titles won by West Indian Cavaliers between 2001 and 2005.

The league continues to develop with innovations this year including the introduction of computerised scoring and advanced pitch analysis and marking.

The champions start their defence of the title with an away fixture at Papplewick.

Clifton have lost Dan Birch to Kimberley and are hoping to recruit a current member of the Nottinghamshire squad as their second professional, alongside Tom Lungley.

Richard Harris continues as captain and will be meeting up with former Notts batsmen Matt Dowman at the coin toss as he is now leading Papplewick.

Dowman is joined at Papplewick by Warren Nel, signed from Lincolnshire side Sleaford.

Caythorpe take on newly promoted Worskop at home with new signings Darren Bicknell and Gurpej Landa both joining from Belvoir

Worksop have signed Gareth Pursehouse and Mark Smallwood but they have lost Chad Keegan, Vipanlal Minikoth and Akil Mizra from last year’s successful promotion campaign.

The other promoted side, Plumtree, welcome last year’s early-season pace-setters Welbeck for their opening fixture.

Plumtree skipper Scott Bailey has had to step down due to a persistent hip injury and is replaced by Nigel Finney.

The club have retained Matt Wood as professional and coach and will also have Ben Phillips available when not required by Nottinghamshire.

Welbeck welcome back David Hunt from Cuckney and have lost Matt Higgins and Luke Waterhouse from last season. Young ‘keeper Tiger Dalby is likely to figure prominently.

Cuckney host Mansfield Hosiery Mills with skipper Will Butler and Richard Stroh still expected to feature strongly through the season.

They will be without Will Ullyott but have strengthened their squad with the addition of Will Root from Sheffield Collegiate, Nick Langford from Kimberley and Kieron Garside from Saturday’s opponents.

Tom New returns for the Millers from his spell in first class cricket at Leicestershire and Adam Dobb is back from his spell with the Notts Academy.

Matt New captains and Sudesh Fernando is retained as professional.

The Academy have a home fixture against Wollaton at Lady Bay, still under the captaincy of Andrew Parkin-Coates.

They have added Anuj Dal and Simon Webster to their squads and have lost Michael Robson and Dan Cumming.

There are a number of changes, too, at Wollaton who have a new skipper in Tim Young after Ed Savill’s move to Scotland, and he has added Dominic Reed, Ben Smith and Sam Johnson to the squad.

Last years runners-up, West Indian Cavaliers, take on a strengthened Kimberley at Birchover Park.

The Cavs have lost the services of the stand-out player from last term, Saqlain Mushtaq, who has moved to Australia.

But they welcome back old boy Bilal Shafayat and Ricki Anderson and have retained Alex Tudor. Kimberley have made ambitious moves in the close-season signing Dan Birch and Simon Roberts from Clifton and retaining Akhil Patel as professional, alongside Birch.