RISHTON Cricket Club have signed a 19-year-old New Zealander as professional for the 2003 season.
All-rounder Rob Nicol, who isn't 20 until May, is highly regarded and earmarked as a future Test star by Kiwi cricket chiefs. He has aleady played for the National Under-19 side.
A right hand bat who can bowl right-arm medium pace or off-spin, he has three centuries anf three 50's to his name already in the 15 First Class matches he has played for his state team, Auckland.
His capture marks a change of direction for Rishton who have traditionally gone for seasoned 'big name' players and last year had 44-year-old Peter Sleep as their paid man.
- See this Friday's Observer for a full report