Sussex star boosts Bexhill

Ashar Zaidi scored an unbeaten 69 and took three wickets on his debut for Bexhill Cricket Club last weekend
Ashar Zaidi scored an unbeaten 69 and took three wickets on his debut for Bexhill Cricket Club last weekend

Bexhill Cricket Club’s bid to stay in the Sussex Premier League has been boosted by a Sussex all-rounder.

Ashar Zaidi made an impressive debut in the derby draw away to Eastbourne last weekend, scoring 69 not out from 43 balls with the bat and taking three wickets with the ball.

Bexhill first team manager Jeff Chinn said: “During the winter we asked (Sussex) ‘have you got a player we can have?’ and because he didn’t have a club as such in Sussex, he was allocated to us.

“He’s a clean hitter and an experienced bowler. As a hitter, he’s that next step up from what we’ve got at the moment. He seems a nice enough lad and was really helping the boys when they were warming up.”

Karachi-born Zaidi wrote to several counties asking for a trial before getting his break with Sussex. The 32-year-old appeared in two LV County Championship matches for the county in 2013 having played in the Lancashire League since leaving Pakistan and signed a two-year contract with Sussex ahead of the 2014 season.

Zaidi, a left-handed batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler, has made several County Championship and NatWest T20 Blast appearances for the county so far this year, and his availability for Bexhill will be determined by whether or not he is required by Sussex.

“It’s difficult to say (how much he will feature for Bexhill) because we don’t know what plans Sussex have got,” continued Chinn.

“If he’s available (for Bexhill), he will play. We won’t know until probably Thursday or Friday (each week) whether he’s going to play or not. It’s basically a last minute thing, as it is with all professionals.”

Chinn added that Zaidi, who boasts a first class double hundred, wasn’t involved in Sussex’s four-day game against Nottinghamshire this week due to a slight niggle in his knee.

Bexhill prop up the early league table, but they’ve not played badly and have had a fairly tough run of fixtures so far.

Although likely to be missing batsman Max Finzel, Bexhill will be targeting a positive result at home to Brighton & Hove tomorrow (Saturday) in a clash between two of the four sides still searching for their first league win. Play is due to get underway from 12.30pm.

“We’re confident we’ll keep ourselves in the top league,” Chinn said. “We’ll be a totally different side with Zaidi and Callum Guest playing. With the overseas (Dean Crawford) as well, we’ll have three strike bowlers and the batting will take care of itself.”