EMERGING Kiwi batsman Joe Carter will spearhead Scholes’ challenge in the Drakes League Premiership this season.
The 20-year-old has had a record-breaking campaign in New Zealand with Northern Districts A and Bay of Plenty and is expected to make his first-class breakthrough this year.
A member of the New Zealand team in the last Under 19 World Cup, English-born Carter will join Australian Pete Sceresini at Chapelgate, where former Joe Lumb captain Tom Brook will skipper the first team.
A middle order bat and spin bowler from the Atherton club in Queensland, Sceresini also holds an EU passport and has been recommended to the club by Tom Boorman, who has had a successful season with Atherton.
Scholes have also drafted in Central League prizewinning all-rounder Tom Chadwick from Cartworth Moor, promising teenage batsman Toby Booth from Lascelles Hall and they welcome back their own junior product Louis Sykes from Shelley.
“We will have a young, energetic side with former captains Ashley Pamment and James Noble and experienced wicketkeeper Richard Holmes around to offer guidance and expertise,” said club chairman Mel Booth.
“It’s a departure from recent seasons, when we’ve had the experience and talent of people like Wasim Jaffer and Iqbal Khan at the heart of our first team, but Joe Carter comes very highly recommended and, if he continues the form he’s been showing in the New Zealand season, he’ll make a big impact.
“Tom Boorman now has the know-how of playing a full season in Australia, we have no doubt Pete Sceresini will do a solid job for us as well and both Tom Chadwick and Toby Booth are just itching for a chance at top Drakes League level.
“With Louis Sykes returning as well, we are very happy with how things have shaped up, especially with Adam France and Andy Alsop looking to be among the wickets again and Tom Brook bringing his all-round ability to the mix and leading from the front.”
Carter bagged 1,900 runs through this winter, being top scorer for Tuaranga in the Attrill Cup, for Northern Districts A, Otumoetai Cadets and for Bay of Plenty, where he racked up 778 runs at an average of 51.
That was the top individual performance by a batsman in the 81-year history of Bay of Plenty’s senior men’s team, who won the Hawke Cup for a fourth successive year.
Half those runs came in boundaries, so the small confines of Chapelgate should be to his liking, and his four centuries included a top score of 187 against Hamilton.
His efforts have put him on the verge of the Northern Knights senior side, where Elite Performance director is ex-Drakes League star James Pamment.
Sceresini, a 25-year-old hockey coach, helped Atherton reach the CFN finals with two half centuries to his name, while Boorman was named the club’s Colt player of the year after one century and three 50s.
Teenage left-hander Boorman has represented the district throughout the season and was also selected for CFN Fusion in the T20 Queensland Country Challenge in Mackay, along with clubmates Gerard Fox, Dan Parnell and Luke Parnell.
Chadwick, who lives close to the Scholes ground, has been one of the best young players in the Central League for a number of years and has helped Cartworth Moor progress to the stage where they have been elected in the Drakes rankings from 2014.
Scholes have made Khan a Life Member after four successful seasons at Chapelgate, but he is expected to be playing for Kirkburton this summer.