Accrington have snapped up Pakistani all-rounder Ashar Zaidi ahead of the 2011 season.
Last year’s professional Will Driver was forced to pull out of the season last month to undergo surgery on a long-term shoulder injury – sending Accrington back to the drawing board in their search for a pro.
But former captain David Ormerod believes the club have managed to find the perfect match in the former Pakistan ‘A’ batsman. Ormerod said: "He’s exactly the type of player we were looking for, we got some very good reports from his time at Wood Lane and at Greenmount and we’re really looking forward to having him on board.
"For financial reasons we needed to sign a domestic-based player as the cost of visas and accommodation is something we couldn't afford to take on this season, and coming from north Manchester he fits the bill."
"We were looking to keep Will on this season, despite his injury he played really well last year, but he decided it needed surgery now and obviously we didn’t want to play through the season with a semi-fit professional."
After back-to-back Lancashire League titles in 2008 and 2009, Accrington could only manage a 10th place finish last season, and Ormerod is hoping for an improved showing this time around.
He said: "We’re certainly hoping for an improvement on last year and hopefully that means we can be challenging once again at the top of the table.
"The goals have shifted in recent years with teams appointing player-coaches, which we can’t afford to do, but we have to match other sides resources with our own fighting spirit.
"A good run in the cup is a main aim for us this season as well, and with some of the talent we’ve got we’re confident of a good campaign."
After three years Ormerod will hand over the club captaincy to James Hayhurst in 2011, a move he hopes will help nurture the club's long-term future.
He said: "I’ve really enjoyed the captaincy but I felt the time was right to hand over to a younger player while we still had senior members of the squad such as myself, Graham Lloyd and Damien Clarke to help with the transition.
"James is a real club man and he puts in a lot of work behind the scenes, but there’s a lot of pressure which goes with the captaincy such as organising training and making selections.
"I’ve no doubt he’ll bring some fresh ideas to the table and we’re hoping James takes to the role in the way we think he will and will be captain of Accrington Cricket Club for many years to come."