THE experienced Matt James will be leading promoted Knighton-on-Teme Cricket Club in their maiden season in the GB Liners Marches League Division Two.

James has agreed to take over the reins from bowler Dan Pullen, who is getting married this summer.

Knighton will be installing portable showers at their ground for the first time and will be linking up with Upper Sapey for their Sunday cricket.

It promises to be a busy summer for the Pullen family, as Knighton club stalwart Dave Pullen explained.

“Dan didn’t miss any matches last summer but he is going to miss four of five games this time and he felt it wasn’t right for him remain as captain,” said dad, Dave.

“While Dan is getting married, his sister is also getting married this summer and his 15-year-old brother Kai will be captaining Ledbury Swifts Under-17 in a football tournament in Sweden.

“Matt has taken over on the understanding that Dan will take back the reins in 12 months’ time.

“It is great to have Mark Evans on board because it’s the first time that Mark has had an official post at Knighton.”

Dave Pullen added: “We have been told by the league that, we must some get showers and I am looking at portable showers.

“At the moment, we can’t get on there to do it. And the way the weather’s looking, we can’t guarantee the work will be done for the first game of the season.”

Knighton’s players were saddened over the winter by the loss of Bob Gittins, who played for the Sunday side last summer but died suddenly in September, aged 64.

Knighton have had their Marches League fixtures for the new season and the villagers will be opening the new campaign at home to Llandrindod Wells on Saturday, May 3.

Knighton clinched promotion from Division Three last term after making a switch from the Worcestershire County League.

Dave Pullen said: “We have got some very attractive and potentially tough matches.

“We defeated Ledbury 2nd last season and we now have to play Ledbury’s first team.

“Dan will definitely miss the home match against Woolhope – but he should be fine to play the away match.

“We finished second in Division Three last season by just 0.01% of a point.

“We would have been champions had we scored one more run or taken one more wicket.

“We lost the first five matches and we then didn’t get beaten again.

“We learned a lot and we could have lost a few points because we didn’t know the points’ system.”

Knighton will be playing the likes of Weobley, Woolhope, Marden and Almeley.

Knighton’s annual meeting was held at the home Robin Salmon, who remains as chairman and secretary.

Dave Pullen said it was natural for Knighton to link up with neighbouring Upper Sapey for Sunday friendly matches.

“Mark Evans and Tom Whistance played for Upper Sapey before they came to Knighton and the two clubs want to help each other out,” said Pullen.

Pullen says the club will be planning four or five indoor pre-season nets on a Sunday at Tenbury High School.

“Some of the younger members will need to help us – it’s going to be a joint effort at the club this summer and everyone at the club will have to put something in.

“They will have to do the scoring and mark the pitch.

For more details about joining Knighton-on-Teme Cricket Club, call Dave Pullen on 07971 556129.