GLOS/WILTS DIVISION PREVIEW: New boys improve Chippenham outlook

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Chippenham skipper Lee Ward Chippenham skipper Lee Ward

LEE Ward reckons Chippenham should be aiming for the top half of the table after improving their squad strength over the winter.

The Hardenhuish Park side have added batsman Mohammed Shuaib, from Halesowen, to their ranks while the bowling ranks have also been swelled.

Left-arm spinner George Read and opening bowler Mat Dumont, from St Blazey in Cornwall, will offer Ward’s men more options with the ball.

Ward said: “One of the things we have said about this season is that we’ve had a couple of years where we said it was a transition period and we were rebuilding.

“But, hopefully, this time we can have a more successful season.

“Our aspirations are, minimum, to be in the top half of the table and really pushing on.

“We have competition for places in the squad now and that’s really good.”

Tim Hancock, who made more than 8000 runs during his Gloucestershire career, has been assisting the club with coaching during the winter.

Ward said: “One of the things we want to work on is our consistency.

“I think we beat the top three sides in our league last year at various stages so we’ve proved we can beat anyone on our day.’’

Chippenham open their campaign with the visit of Rockhampton on Saturday.

Biddestone begin their campaign with a visit to last season’s Wiltshire Division champions Swindon this weekend.

The villagers have recruited Stuart Kingwell to their ranks this summer as player-coach for the season.

Kingwell was previously at West of England Premier League Premier One champions Bath, where he captained the club’s second team and also coached the U15s to the National Championships twice in the last five years.

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