Howzat! Wicket work for Eaton Socon

Work being carried out to remove an artificial wicket at Eaton Socon's Peppercorns Lane base.

Work being carried out to remove an artificial wicket at Eaton Socon's Peppercorns Lane base. - Credit: Archant

A cricket club might not ordinarily be a hive of activity with a cold winter looming large on the horizon, but man and machine could be found hard at work at Eaton Socon last weekend.

The Tucker Gardner League Division Two champions are replacing an artificial wicket at their Peppercorns Lane base and the free use of equipment from St Neots Tool Hire certainly came in handy.

Outgoing skipper Terry Day said: “We put the artificial track in just after the millennium for the juniors to play on.

“It has served us well down the years, but it has seen better days now and it has become a bit dangerous for fielders.

“We spent the weekend digging it up and it will now be seeded ahead of winter. It turned into a much bigger job than we expected!”

Day called time on his long reign as captain, which stretches back to 1998, at the end of a glorious summer for a stellar Socon side.

He is almost certain to be replaced by run machine Jonny Carpenter - a change which will be ratified at the club’s annual meeting on November 25.

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Day revealed it is unlikely that South African star Mickey Hay will return as he wants to sample a higher level of cricket in 2016.

Wicket-keeping batsman David Humphrey has also departed. He will play more locally to his Haverhill base next season.

The club do possess another highly-rated glove-man in youngster Matthew Taylor and he may be given the chance to step into the first team depending on availability around his education.

Day added: “We would have loved to welcome Mickey back again next summer, but we completely understand his position.

“He wants to make a living as a cricketer and to do that he needs to test himself at as high a level as he can.

“It will be a blow to lose David as well, both for his batting and his work behind the stumps, but he lives a fair way away in Haverhill and it makes sense for him to play his cricket there.

“Young Matthew is another very promising wicket-keeper so we are quite lucky in that respect.

“We’ll also have a look at our options for an overseas player as well.”