INDIAN seamer Anupam Sanklecha will join Shipton-under-Wychwood as player-coach for the new Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League season.

The 31-year-old first-class player helped Maharashtra reach the final of India’s biggest domestic tournament, the Ranji Trophy, earlier this year.

And Shipton captain Simon Hole believes signing Sanklecha shows the club are serious about competing after moving up from the Cherwell League.

Hole said: “It is fantastic to have someone of Anupam’s ability at the club, not just to improve the team, but to aid the development of young players throughout the club.

“Hopefully, it will show everyone how committed we are to making a serious attempt at Home Counties cricket.”

Sanklecha, who has taken 78 wickets in 27 first-class matches, said: “I will be a full-time player-coach, doing all the coaching from youth to senior level.

“I will be working one-to-one with players and am willing to give my everything for the team’s success.

“My agent suggested Shipton to me, and after that I had discussions with Ian Lewis (overseas player recruitment co-ordinator) about my role at the club.

“I liked what I heard from Ian and had no hesitation in signing.”

Sanklecha, who also has a first-class 50, has previously played for Evenwood CC in the Durham Premier League and is keen for success at Shipton.

He said: “I want my team to win, individually to perform to the best of my ability and to motivate the emerging players of my team and to develop the cricket of my club with the experience I have.”

Although Sanklecha’s Maharastra side lost to Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy final, he describes this as the highlight of his career so far.

“I was happy as I played a crucial part in the team’s victory in big games to take us to the final,” he said.

Shipton begin their Division 2 campaign at Falkland on May 10.

* HENLEY have signed 19-year-old Australian Ben McDermott as their overseas player for this season.