CHURCH Cricket Club have plumped for a young star as their new professional for 2008 and hope he will measure up to all the recommendations.
Niel Bredenkamp is just 20 years old but has had much praise in South Africa where the Chief Executive at his club, North West, Jacques Faul hopes in three years he can become the next Jacques Kallis.
He is also highly-rated by ex-Colne pro Craig Norris and another former Lancashire League paid man Charl Langeveldt is impressed with Bredenkamp and thinks he will go to the top.
And ex- Leicestershire all-rounder Gordon Parsons, Coach of the Year at North West this year, has been singing his praises too.
Church chairman Don Holt went to watch Bredenkamp last week in South Africa and was pleased to snap up the youngster.
"He is really keen to come over, he has his Level Two coaching qualification and wants to teach cricket in schools and we hope he will be good for us," said the chairman.
Niel is a right hand bat and bats at Number four for his state. He doesn’t bowl for his state side but opens the bowling for club side, Vaal Reefs CC.
His batting average in first class cricket is 41 and he made his debut in October 2006.
In November 2007, the teenager got back to back 100s against Namibia state - he was the first player in first class cricket to do this.
He has 939 runs for his state side this season.
"It is always a risk to take young players but he has a good background and is recommended by a lot of people," said Church stalwart, Jack Houldsworth.
It means all four Hyndburn Lancashire League sides have now got their professionals.
Champions Rishton have re-signed Pakistan paid man Saeed Anwar Junior while Enfield have New Zealander Brandon Hiini returning.
Accrington recently snapped up Sri Lankan all-rounder Roy Silva.
In the Ribblesdale League, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel have Andy Kerr from Greenmount in the Bolton League; Baxenden have Lancashire youngster Will Purser while Great Harwood have signed Indian all-rounder Syed Shahabuddin.
THE Church AGM is Thursday 28 Feburary at 8pm at the club.