Big names come in as Town eye promotion
Hinckley Town have made bold moves to strengthen their team as they target promotion from Division Two of the Everards League.
Former Leicestershire off-spinner, Carl Crowe, has agreed to play for the club this season, and all-rounder Don Bhagawati, who played at Market Harborough last season, has moved to Leicester Road.
Maddy Bist, an aggressive batsman who has played first-class cricket for the Indian State side Harayana, has confirmed his availability for this season as the club's overseas player and captain.
John Coe, the Hinckley chairman, said: "Two years ago, the club, with the support of the England & Wales Cricket Board, was able to buy the ground.
"We are in the process of rebuilding the playing strength of the club and, at the same time, laying the foundations for the future – this season we will field 16 junior teams in addition to two senior sides.
"We formed a partnership with Don Bhagawati, the director of the City Cricket Academy in Leicester, last year and the junior teams play under the name of Hinckley Town CCA. We have more than 120 junior members at the club."
Bhagawati believes that there is plenty to build on at Hinckley.
"The club has great potential with very good facilities and excellent pitches," he said.
"We have created a player development pathway for the young cricketers to graduate into club cricket and even to the higher levels of the game.
"During school holidays, we propose to organise a summer cricket camp at the ground when youngsters from the surrounding villages will be invited to participate.
"In addition, Hinckley Town and the City Academy will combine to play two fixtures against an emerging county players' team from Northamptonshire CCC.
"It is good seeing Leicestershire play second XI matches at the ground again."
Crowe, who is now assistant coach to England Women, returns to an old stomping ground.
"I am really looking forward to playing again for Hinckley, who looked after me at the beginning of my club cricket career," he said.
"I will enjoy supporting Don Bhagawati with the coaching of the youngsters and, in due course, we aim to develop a women's and girls' section.
"Sonia Odedra, who is an England Women's academy player, played for the Hinckley men's first team last season and shows great promise."
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