Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden said it’s great to have Andrew Hodd back at the cricket club after the former county professional made his first Bexhill appearance in 14 years.
The ex-Yorkshire, Sussex and Surrey star, who retired from the first class game last year, has returned to his boyhood club and played in Bexhill’s 2019 league opener last weekend.
Hodd, a one-time England under-19 international, top-scored with 46 at the top of the order and kept wicket during Bexhill’s 24-run defeat away to Crawley Eagles in 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East.
See also: * Bexhill captain: We got stitched up by the rain
* Ex-Yorkshire and Sussex star signs for Bexhill
* Hastings make flying start with emphatic win
Haffenden said: “It’s massive. It’s a relaxing thing knowing we’ve got someone of his quality in the team. He brings so much knowhow and knowledge of the game. We had a chat during the game, bouncing ideas and I’ll use him as much as I can really.
“Batting-wise, he’s just a bit of a calming influence when you bat. He does his own thing, but he helps you out as well. He looked very comfortable even though he hadn’t picked up a bat for a while.
“His ‘keeping helps as well. He’s got unbelievable hands and it will make a difference to us in general.
“Off the pitch, he was the first one out moving the screens and pushing the covers on. He’s such a top lad and it’s great to have him back at the club.”
Bexhill will contest their first home league game of the season, against neighbours Hastings Priory seconds, tomorrow (Saturday). Play will get underway from 12.30pm at The Polegrove.
Asked if it will feel a bit weird to be playing against Hastings’ second team - after locking horns with their front side many times in the last decade - Haffenden said: “A little bit. You can’t really think about it; you just play who you’ve got in front of you. We’ve had a couple of tough years. It is what it is.
“We’ll turn up and play who we’ve got in front of us, try to play some good cricket, enjoy it and hopefully win a few games.
“It will be nice to get back at home. We’ve always done okay at home and it will be good to play there.”
Lloyd Waughman and Richard Harrison are away, but Cameron Burgon - who performed so well with the bat for Bexhill in Division Two last summer - will return having missed last weekend’s game while attending a wedding.