Panthers snap up overseas signing

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Francois Kroukamp.

CRICKET

CAPTAIN Dexter Purser is confident overseas signing Francois Kroukamp will give Stratford some much-needed strength in their top order.

The Panthers have signed the South African ahead of the forthcoming Warwickshire League Premier Division campaign which gets under way on Saturday, 18th April when Streetly visit Swans Nest Lane.

Kroukamp – who plays for Piet Retief in the Mpumalanga Premier League and has also represented Mpumalanga U19s – will also add to the bowling department with his off-spin.

And Purser told the Herald he believes that Nelspruit-born Kroukamp could be the answer to Stratford’s top order woes which were a common factor throughout last season.

“We really struggled in the batting department last year, as we set a lot of low scores,” he said.

“Our batting was certainly not our strongest discipline and I hope Francois can come in, get used to the English conditions and crack on right from the start.

“With him in the top order along with a couple more new faces, hopefully we can be challenging for the title this year.”

The Panthers did not have an overseas signing last term, but having managed to get one across the line for the 2020 campaign, Purser says there is a real buzz around the club.

“Having someone like Francois on board is a great boost for the club,” he added.

“We were missing an overseas player last season, but having Francois will be a huge benefit, especially as he can bowl too.”

Stratford’s winter business is not done yet, as Purser looks to bring in a couple more players in a bid to strengthen the top order.

“There’s definitely going to be a few more signings on the cards,” he said.

“Our fielding and bowling was superb last season, but our batting was letting us down and that’s something we want to improve.”

The Panthers skipper has also been left impressed with the positive turnout at the winter sessions run at Meon Vale Leisure Centre.

“We’ve had 20-plus players at each session so far and the quality on show has been great,” he added.