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Promotion mix target is set for Nomads
10:40am Tuesday 24th April 2012 in Cricket
WORCESTER Nomads hoped to be in the promotion mix as the Worcestershire League Division One campaign began last weekend.
They finished fourth behind Astwood Bank in 2011 and headed to promoted Colwall for their opener on Saturday.
The Bransford club have retained Worcestershire academy wicketkeeper Alex Milton and brought in 21-year-old Australian opening batsman Angus Robson, a former New South Wales under 19s player.
Captain Ben Schiffmann said: “We are not putting all our eggs in one basket but hopefully Angus can push us on.
“We would love to win the league but there are some good teams so we are not taking anything for granted.”
Meanwhile, Bromyard will look to former Sri Lankan Test player Dinusha Fernando to repeat his 2011 form.
Fernando scored 1,011 runs at an average of 91.91 last term, becoming only the third player to pass the 1,000-run landmark in the top-flight, and took 24 wickets at 36.25.
Bromyard hosted last season’s Division Two champions Coombs Wood on Saturday after finishing fifth in 2011.
After being second-from-bottom and suffering their second successive relegation last term, Malvern opened their Division Three programme at home to Cookley.
Player departures have hit the Regency Road club over the last two years but the close-season has been encouraging.
Malvern’s youngsters stepped up bravely in 2011 and will look to make their mark at the lower level. David Cox has returned from Pershore, while Andy Cullen and Tom Hale are back after spending time in London and New Zealand respectively.
Indian off-spinning all-rounder Owais Shah, who has moved to Worcester after several years at university in Bedford, will be their non-professional overseas star with Cullen and Shaun Smith other players to watch.
A below-strength Malvern side opened with a 129-run friendly defeat to Cotswold Hills League high-fliers Ashton-under-Hill.
Skipper Anthony Arnold said: “I am hoping our new strength in depth will help us stop the relegation rot.
“I would love us to bounce back to Division Two with promotion at the first attempt but I would be satisfied with a top-half finish.”
In second team cricket, Worcester Nomads host Colwall, Bromyard head to Harborne and Malvern go to Burghill and Tillington.
The campaign started a week earlier this year to allow for not playing on the Bank Holidays around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.