North Ballarat Cricket Club is eager to unveil its two English imports, Matt Skeemer and Tom Phillippe, but the continual struggle to get the season underway due to poor weather has the two recruits chomping at the bit.
Phillippe has been in Australia for five weeks and admits it has become frustrating not being able to get out into the middle for a proper hit-out but he is no stranger to difficult conditions.
“It’s a bit annoying, we want to get into it now,” Phillippe said.
“It’s been very frustrating but it’s the same for everyone.”
Phillippe came into contact with the club via its 2015-16 Englishmen, before coach Adam Eddy found him through an agency.
He comes across from Southend-on-Sea where he scored over 1100 runs last season. Phillippe will open the batting for North Ballarat and is looking forward to scoring some runs.
“Hopefully see off the new ball and cash in,” he said.
While Skeemer, hailing from Devon, will serve the club with both bat and ball. He expects to ply his trade somewhere in the North Ballarat middle-order and to come on for the first change with his pace bowling. After getting in contact with Eddy through a mutual connection, he was extremely keen to come over and get stuck into the Australian summer.
Although it has not been what he envisioned so far, having been in the country for two weeks, he has seen more rain than sun to this point.
“The connection through Adam, just from speaking to him about the place it seemed like a good club, so it was a pretty easy decision to come out,” Skeemer said.
While the first two-day match of the season has been called off, it will give the pair an extra week to adjust to not only the conditions but the format itself.
Neither has played two-day cricket, with their respective home leagues only playing one-day matches. Both were eager to acquaint themselves to the longer format and felt it would give them a greater opportunity to impact matches.
Eddy said the pair was extremely excited to come on board and would fill a need for the club in both areas of the game as well as adding to its core group of young talent.
“We needed to fill a couple of spots there. We’ve also got a lot of good, young kids that are up and coming and they’ll get a good chance this year,” Eddy said.
“They’re really keen, they’re really looking forward to it.”
North Ballarat, who had a bye in round one despite the rain, will turn its attention to Mt Clear next week as it looks to get its season underway – weather permitting.