Market Rasen Cricket Club have been given a huge boost for this summer by the return of skipper Matt Rutherford as player-coach.
Rutherford rejoins the club from Lindum after spending a season away from Rase Park, with the responsibilities to assist the club’s ladies’ captain Beth Smith and junior team managers with coaching.
The 33-year-old spin bowler will also assist First XI captain Dale Christie and vice-captain Will Bradford in a playing role in the Lincolnshire League Premier Division next season.
The county player was the leading wicket-taker in the Lincs ECB Premier in his last season with Rasen in 2015 when he took 70 wickets.
Club chairman Ian Williams said: “We are delighted that Matt is coming home.
“A player of Matt’s quality and experience would benefit any club and we are lucky he has opted for a return to Market Rasen.”
Rutherford started playing for Rasen at the age off 11 in 1994 as a junior under the late club legend Jim Friend.
He developed as a junior and started playing in the first team at the age of 15.
Overall Rutherford has played for Rasen both as a junior and senior cricketer for 23 years.
“My role this season is to assist Beth Smith and other volunteers, be it parents or other coaches in developing youth cricket,” he said.
“Market Rasen CC has a long, proud history in developing youth cricket and it is something I want to continue to develop.
“I want to pass on my experience in the game to the next generation in the hope of retaining as many young players in the club so that they can eventually progress into the senior teams.
“I also feel it’s important to introduce cricket and sport in general to young people and I aim to make the training sessions fun as well as educational for everyone who attends.”
Pre-season training has been organised for the junior sides and will take place at De Aston School from Wednesday, February 22.
All juniors, regardless of experience, are welcome to go along and meet the coaching team.
Rasen’s Second XI will be playing in Division Two this season having been promoted as champions.
The club’s Development XI, who will play in Division Four of the Lincoln Sunday League, are looking for players who wish to start playing adult cricket, those who wish to play cricket for the first team or anyone looking to get back into the game.
Call Daniel Clark on 07545 066614 if interested.
Rasen’s ladies’ team will be hoping to make it three county titles in a row, while the club will also be running a West Wold Evening League team.
Both the football and cricket club hosts its next big fundraising event on Friday, March 10, a Sportsperson’s Dinner.
Guest speaker on the night will be former Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Norman Whiteside along with comedian Jed Stone.
Tickets, including a three-course meal, cost £35. Call (01673) 842171 for tickets or visit Rase Park for further information.