Garstang CC skipper aims to have South African spinner back next season

Garstang CC's Travis Pieters     Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society
Garstang CC's Travis Pieters Picture: Tim Gilbert/Preston Photographic Society

Garstang CC skipper Mark Walling hopes the club will be able to bring back Travis Pieters for the 2020 season.

Having taken 51 wickets in his debut year at the club in 2018, the South African spinner claimed 57 this year in league and cup.

The teenager was a consistent performer throughout the season but really came to the fore by claiming 17 wickets in his final four league matches, including figures of 6-20 against Longridge.

“I think Trav has one or two things to sort out but he’s keen and the club are keen so, hopefully, it will be a third year for him,” Walling said.

“I think he’s really improved this year, particularly in the second half of the season.

“He doesn’t look like a 19-year-old, especially when you think of the amount of wickets he has and the number of pros he’s got out.

“He brings a great skill set to the team; we’ve enjoyed having him here and we hope he will be back again next year.”

Pieters was one half of an effective overseas pair for Garstang during a successful 2019 season in league and cup competitions.

While he featured as the club’s overseas amateur, Punit Bisht led by example in being the club’s professional.

He struck 1,062 league runs – and 1,600 in total – as Garstang finished second in the Northern Premier Cricket League behind Leyland.

His success fully vindicated the club’s decision to make him their first professional and it was little surprise that they re-signed him for the 2020 season.

Walling acknowledged: “The year before, we’d played against teams who had a professional.

“I think we were a bit short in the batting so Punit has really strengthened that department.

“We’re a year more experienced as well which helped a lot; we weren’t going to unknown teams and unknown grounds.

“The team has been together a long time so we know what each other is capable of.”