Herts prepare for opening match of a busy campaign

PUBLISHED: 13:35 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:12 26 October 2009

Jamie Hewitt batting for Welwyn Garden City

Jamie Hewitt batting for Welwyn Garden City

THE county cricket season opens on Sunday with Herts first fixture of a busy 2009 campaign. Hertfordshire start the summer with a long journey to Newcastle on Saturday night for Sunday s opening match in the One-Day Trophy, against Northumberland at Sout

Aaron Laraman

THE county cricket season opens on Sunday with Herts' first fixture of a busy 2009 campaign.

Hertfordshire start the summer with a long journey to Newcastle on Saturday night for Sunday's opening match in the One-Day Trophy, against Northumberland at South Northumberland CC in Gosforth.

Andy Lewis, the North Mymms batsman in his third season as captain, has a major new player in his team this season.

He will be without the power hitting of the retired former Surrey star David Ward, but instead will be able to call on the former Middlesex and Kent all-rounder Jamie Hewitt.

Hewitt, 33, has joined the county from Oxfordshire, where he was player-coach.

The Welwyn Garden City player is now Hertfordshire's cricket performance director, responsible for the county's coaching programmes, overseeing the county playing programme, running the player pathway, and the emerging player programme.

As well as being a fine seam and swing bowler, Hewitt topped the batting averages in the Home Counties Premier League for WGC last year.

Herts skipper Lewis is looking forward to his partnership with fellow WGC all-rounder and former Middlesex colleague Aaron Laraman.

"While we will of course miss the power play of Wardy, we will be a much stronger bowling unit," said Lewis.

"Jamie and Aaron will make life more difficult for the opposition than in previous years.

"It will be nice to have two ex-first class bowlers to throw the ball to!"

Actually it could be more, as Herts have also registered Tom Hemingway.

Knebworth Park's 22-year-old attacking off-spinner played five first-class games for Cambridge UCCE and the University while he was studying there.

WGC's former Derbyshire player Nick Walker is also in Herts' plans for the season.

After a deeply frustrating and badly weather-affected 2008, when Herts went all season without a win, Lewis is desperate for his young, mostly home-grown side to set an early positive tone for the summer ahead.

"It's important to get off to a good start this season," he said.

"I am looking to try and build some early momentum for the year.

"If we can start with a strong performance then it can help to kick-start the whole season.


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