Joe Yapp is returning as captain, it was confirmed at the club’s AGM which was held via Zoom due to the global pandemic.
Also returning to the club will be spinner Calum Marsh, while Matt Hartshorn is joining from Pontesbury – and there are hopes of more new recruits before the season starts.
Stylish left-handed batsman and spinner Yapp played for Cound from 2008 until 2015, captaining the side in the top flight of Shropshire cricket before moving on to join Sentinel.
There he was an integral part of the Shrewsbury-based club which won the Henshalls Shropshire County Cricket League in 2016 to gain promotion to the Birmingham League and has been an ever-present for the past five seasons at Albert Road. But he has now decided to return to Cound to help with the club’s revival after successive relegations which saw them slip from the Premier Division in 2018 down to Division Two.
Spinner Marsh is returning to Cound after a season at Sentinel, and is one of the club’s leading wicket takers in the modern era, while Hartshorn will help bolster the batting line-up for the 2021 season.
He hit more than 500 runs in 2017 to help Pontesbury to promotion from Division Two, and then backed that up with another 500-run season in Division One the following year.
Yapp said: “I’m delighted to be returning to Cound and I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the club start climbing back up the divisions again.
“There’s lots of potential at the club and it’s a great place to play cricket. The addition of Matt and Calum will strengthen the side, and with some more new faces joining before the start of the season, hopefully we can challenge in what will be a competitive division in 2021.
“I know there are already some excellent players at the club, and hopefully we can tempt the likes of Adam Williams away from his fishing for a day each week to play regularly next season.”
Club chairman Matt Jones said: “It’s a great boost for the club to have a player of Joe’s quality back and taking the helm again for the 1st XI.
“He was a key part of our team which made it to the Premier League around a decade ago, and brings with him a great knowledge of the game in Shropshire.
“We’re also delighted to welcome Matt to the club, and also see Calum return. Obviously, it has been a disappointing couple of seasons and then a strange year in 2020 with the global pandemic.
“But we are developing a new five-year plan for the club – and having Joe back involved can only boost our prospects going forward.”
Due to availability issues associated with Covid-19, the club only fielded two sides in the truncated Henshalls Shropshire League season in 2020 – but plan to reintroduce the Saturday 2nd XI in 2021 with Dan Wilson stepping up to skipper the side for the first time.
Chris Campbell, who led the Sunday XI to a successful second-place finish in their league in 2020, will continue as captain in 2021, while Gabe Williams will take over as Evening League skipper.
The club is looking to arrange pre-season nets at Shrewsbury School’s indoor centre in the new year. If anyone is interested in playing for or getting involved with Cound in 2021, they can contact secretary Craig Kinsey at firstname.lastname@example.org