SOUTH African fast bowler Matthew Kennedy is the new overseas player for Ludlow Cricket Club.

The 23-year-old has played five first-class matches in his homeland and represented South Africa Under-19.

He is expected to arrive in the country today (Thursday).

Ludlow captain Bryn Simmons believes Kennedy, who is 6ft 5in tall, will have a golden summer.

Simmonds said: “Matthew is going to do good things for us, he’s tall and he’s going to be a very fast bowler. To have someone of his quality playing in the Shropshire Premier League, is brilliant.”

Port Elizabeth-born Kennedy has played at every age level for Eastern Province in his home country and has bagged 15 first-class wickets.

Kennedy plays for Eastern Province and replaces Jason Van Loggerenberg, who made a major impact last season as Ludlow finished runners-up in the Shropshire County League Premier Division.

Ludlow open their league campaign next Saturday (April 26) against Bomere Heath .

Kennedy, who made his first class debut at just 17, is playing in the UK for the first time and will be joined by his partner.

Simmonds said: “He is an unknown with the bat, he bats at seven or eight at first class level, who knows where he’ll bat here.”

“We wanted Jason to come back to Ludlow but we have got a better player.

“We knew Jason would not be coming back, we made it clear last October we needed a decision early so we could replace him.”

Meanwhile, Ludlow’s junior and senior players will be signing on for the new season at their registration evening at the Burway on April 24 from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Ludlow will be running youth teams at under-11, u-13, u-15 and u-17 levels in the Herefordshire Youth League this summer.

For more details about Ludlow Cricket Club, call secretary Phil Parker on 07974767518.