PREVIEW: Return of Notts Premier League cricket

A ' pile on' ensues as Kimberley win the NPL title - Pic by: Richard Parkes
A ' pile on' ensues as Kimberley win the NPL title - Pic by: Richard Parkes
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The Nottingham Premier Cricket League returns this weekend with defending champions Kimberley welcoming Ordsall Bridon to the 2bm Ground.

Although Kimberley have lost Sam Levy (West Indian Cavaliers), Harry Ratcliffe (Papplewick), Ben Savage (Radcliffe) and Dominic Wheatley (Mansfield Hosiery Mills), they have beefed up their pace bowling by signing Simon Webster from the Notts Academy.

Batsman Sam Johnson requires just 29 runs to reach 2,500 runs in Premier League cricket against a Bridon side that finished one place above relegation last year.

Despite that, the sides finished last season with four wins from their last five matches.

Clifton Village entertain the Notts Academy with all-rounder Martin Weightman just a five-wicket haul away from a career milestone of 200 Premier League victims.

Clifton have lost Aitizaz Khan (West Indian Cavaliers), Adam Shepherd (Grantham) and Notts star Greg Smith this year and will be up against an Academy side who have duel-registered Jack Blatherwick from Kimberley. This quick-bowling prospect has already turned heads at Trent Bridge this winter and he is certainly one to watch for this campaign.

Cuckney take on Mansfield Hosiery Mills in a local derby, where the visitors will no doubt be keen to make their mark in the Premier League after being relegated in 2014.

Cuckney’s James Hawley is just 20 runs shy of the 4,000 run mark in Premier League cricket, while team-mate Lewis Bramley requires three more victims to reach 100 career wickets.

MHM ended 2015 winning their last five matches and will be keen to pick up where they left off.

Fellow newcomers Hucknall make their debut in the league at home where they host Plumtree, who finished second in the competition last year. Overseas star Nathan Rimmington and Northants pro Graeme White have left Plumtree but the club welcome spin bowler Muhammad Usman from Attenborough.

Hucknall keep faith with the squad that got them promoted, bolstered by the signing of Jake Libby.

Radcliffe’s talented young wicketkeeper Jake Fish will be looking to make the 71 runs he requires to pass a 1,000 league runs when his side host Caythorpe.

Joining him at the club are leg-spinning all-rounder Connor Marshall (dual-registered with Notts Academy) and seamer Ben Savage from Kimberley.

Caythorpe have retained the same squad that helped them to a fourth-place finish last season.

The final match of the day sees West Indian Cavaliers host Welbeck at Birchover Park.

The Cavs will be without Usman Afzaal, who has recently left the club.

New signings Sam Levy, Aitizaz Khan and Adam Tillcock (transferred from Notts Academy) will hope to fill the void left by the former England batsman.

Prolific Welbeck all-rounder Richard Stroh requires a score of 75 or more to pass 5,000 league runs and four wickets to pass 250 scalps.