HORDEN have lost three players to Second Division Ryhope as they gear up for the forthcoming Durham Cricket League campaign.
But the Colliers have signed a new professional in highly recommended Indian 23-year-old all-rounder in Sahil Madgaonker ahead of the new season’s opening day on April 26.
Prolific opening batsman Adrian Hedley and John Minniss scored around 1,000 runs between them last summer, but they have opted against Horden’s First Division challenge to join Ryhope alongside wicketkeeper Paul Jenkins, who managed 22 dismissals behind the stumps in an impressive 2013.
New club secretary Jeff Iceton said: “It’s left a big hole to fill in our batting line up with Adrian, John and Paul leaving us, but we are not going to beg them or anyone else to stop.
“If they have a change of heart prior to the new season commencing in late April, then they would be welcomed back.
“The club will always be bigger than the players and, more importantly, the club will still be here when they eventually hang up their boots.
“It is a new era and having made the cut last year to compete in the First Division we will be given it 100 per cent to finish as high up the league as possible.”
Horden’s new pro is a right-arm medium quick bowler and a hard-hitting middle order batsman who has represented Mumbai Under-19s.
They have also re-signed Wayne Birks from Blackhall and Stephen Brett from Eppleton, and snapped up Peterlee wicketkeeper Connor Dickinson to replace Jenkins.
Experienced batsman Stephen McCoy was due to retire, but he has agreed to play on, following Horden’s three departures, to bolster the batting. Carl Watson will again skipper the first team.
Stephen Ward has stepped down as chairman due to work commitments, with Stephen McCoy elected his replacement.