Blackpool CC welcome new professional but St Annes are kept waiting

Matt Grindley
Matt Grindley
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Blackpool Cricket Club look forward to the debut of their new professional tomorrow but St Annes are still sweating on the arrival of theirs.

Stanley Park spectators will get their first look at all-rounder Anurag Verma in Blackpool’s first home game of the Northern Premier League season against Barrow.

The right-handed batsman and seamer, 26, has never played on these shores before but was recommended to the club by last year’s pro and fellow New Zealander Daryl Mitchell.

He missed the opening-day win at Netherfield due to a visa delay as did his St Annes counterpart Saurabh Bandekar, who had not arrived last night.

St Annes captain Matt Grindley said of the Indian all-rounder, 29: “The chairman is in regular contact with Saurabh, whose visa issue had not been resolved and he’s cutting it fine for this weekend.”

In Bandekar’s absence, South African Michael Erlank stepped in as sub-pro and starred with 87 and three wickets in the nine-wicket thrashing of Lancaster.

Grindley confirmed St Annes would look to re-engage Erlank for tomorrow’s first Fylde coast derby of the season at Fleetwood if Bandekar remains unavailable.

The Vernon Road club continued their bright start without their pro, also defeating Burnley side Read in the opening round of the Royal London Club Championship.

Grindley added: “We just got over the line by one wicket but a lot of young lads got some first-team experience.”