There's a nice piece on the club site today, where chairman Chris Grant confirms that the signings of two new players ahead of the 2016 season are imminent.
“The plan is to bring in a second overseas finisher for the NatWest T20
Blast, as well as an experienced bowler, which could be on loan, but we
will see" says our supremo, on the club site.
There are no other clues, nor should we expect them, but the key words would appear to be 'finisher' for the T20 role and 'experienced' for the seam bowler.
Both are exactly what we require, of course. While Andy Carter and Tony Palladino will do a good job for us, it is perhaps unrealistic to expect both to remain fit through a long campaign, or at least not require a rest at some point. While Carter has professed his desire to play in all forms of the game, his workload, like that of all of the seamers, will need monitored.
If we are to enjoy a better summer, then those two still running in strong come September will be of paramount importance. It may be that Ben Cotton and Tom Taylor have improved on last year - I fully expect it. It could also be that Will Davis, Greg Cork and Harry White have caught them up, leaving us with an embarrassment of riches. Yet we should not expect miracles and should one of those lads reach 30-40 wickets we will be doing well. If two of them did, we'll all be doing a conga around the boundary...
As for the T20 role, it would thus appear a middle order batsman, or all-rounder, is our target. We all remember the horrid games we threw away last year, as the middle order showed all the resilience of a balsa wood aeroplane.
It is about time that we made a decent fist of T20, though it is not for the want of trying in the quality of player we have recruited. I just have a feeling that this could be a better year in that format, given a little luck and the right final piece of the jigsaw.
Last year we missed Wayne Madsen and Alex Hughes in the middle order in crucial games, but the addition of Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford gives a nice look to the batting. Wes, Ches, Hamish, Neil, Wayne and X make up a good top six, with perhaps Alex Hughes and Shiv Thakor to follow.
We bowled pretty well in the competition last year, but again missed Ben Cotton at a crucial stage. Bowling in the Powerplay and at the death, he only went for seven an over, figures that Charl Langeveldt would have been proud of. Alex Hughes did equally well and his absence was felt with bat and ball, while Shiv Thakor was a revelation and handled the key periods of the high-pressure games with an elan belying his tender years.
Let's wait and see, but the right man could make a big difference to the supporter's perspective of our prospects.