Survival is once again the aim for Billingshurst

DM15110557a.jpg Cricket - Cuckfield v Billingshurst (batting). Stuart Barber. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150509-222342008

DM15110557a.jpg Cricket - Cuckfield v Billingshurst (batting). Stuart Barber. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150509-222342008

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Survival is once again the key aim for Billingshurst in the Premier Division.

New captain Stuart Barber takes up the reins for the first time at Jubilee Fields and he knows Hurst must not rest on their laurels.

They achieved a sixth-placed finish in their maiden year in the top flight last time out and have bolstered their ranks with the addition of Tom Haines, from East Grinstead, and James Chriss, from Chichester.

Sri Lankan Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi is expected back as their overseas although will miss Saturday’s T20 Sussex Cup match with Brighton & Hove, due to a visa issue.

Barber, who replaces Ben Williams as skipper, said: “In terms of ins, we have got young Tom Haines in and he will be our opening batsman this year which is great news.

“James Chriss has also come in and against Reigate in the National Cup, he had an outstanding game. He was excellent and will do a really good job. I am happy to have him.”

Last year’s promising duo Will Fazakerley and Tom Nightingale will be with the club for just half the season when they will join up with the Leicestershire Academy.

Barber added: “It’s great news for them, not so much for us, but of course we wish them the best. Hopefully, they can feature a bit for us before they go.

“This year is just as important as last year to make sure we stay in the Premier Division. We are trying to build a foundation.

“We need to do what we did excellently last year. We have pretty much the same sort of target as last year, mid-table. It will be a tough season ahead of us and nothing really changes.

“I won’t go as far as saying anything like top three as there are some fantastic sides in this league. We are looking to build a foundation.”

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