Double-signing bolsters Exeter squad for new season
EXETER have made two new signings already ahead of their return to the Premier Division this summer.
Harry Booker, a Devon youth graduate who has played for the county side and is part of the Lions development squad, has switched from Braunton.
Off-spinner Booker, who is studying in Bath, now lives close to Exeter when not at university.
The other signing is early-order batsman Matt Hicks, who has a decent pedigree with Hertfordshire and Northants.
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Hicks, who is 23 and was born in Papua New Guinea, played through the age groups with Hertfordshire before being picked up by the Northants Academy. He has played Minor Counties, Second XI Championship and Trophy cricket and featured in the Northants Premier League for the Academy side.
With Booker and Hicks already in place, Exeter skipper Jon Tipper is happy with the way the build up has started.
"You need to strengthen after promotion and we have been lucky that good players are approaching us," said Tipper.
"Harry Booker now lives locally and wants to test himself in the Premier Division.
"Matt Hicks was a real bonus for us as he was pointed in our direction by the hockey club – thanks lads – after moving down this way.
"He bats four and bowls a bit of medium pace as well and is going to be a useful addition to our squad."
The County Grounders, relegated at the end of 2010, won the A Division by a distance last year after missing out by a whisker the previous season.
There was no hanging around last term as Exeter were unbeaten from start to finish and finished 43 points ahead of second-placed Cornwood.
Tipper confirmed negotiations are still going on to replace departed Aussie off-spinner Callum Still, whose 45 wickets at 9.22 each in a wet summer helped speed the city side to promotion.
And he also said the club were talking to a couple of potential overseas signings – one from Australia, the other from South Africa – but nothing had been signed or sealed yet.
"Unlike some clubs we can't throw money around like the Harlem Globetrotters and need to make sure we get the right person for us," admitted Tipper.