CREWE are hoping new professional Imran Khalid will help them mount a promotion bid in 2007.
The Division One outfit have signed the 25-year-old Pakistani all-rounder to boost a squad which already contains influential players like of Nick Lange, who hit more than 900 runs last season, Tom Gower and Jo Boyle.
Club spokesman Trevor Dawson said hopes are high the side will improve on last season's fifth place finish.
He added: 'Khalid is a left-arm spin bowler and middle-order batsmen, and plays for Faisalabad in his home country.
'We also expect their to be opportunities for some of the club's promising youngsters to make a first-team breakthrough.'
Mike Holt had been named skipper after the departure of former captain Matt Dawson, who has joined Bollington. Batsman Neil Hurst has left the club.
Mark Hurst is vice-captain, while Rob Highfield (captain) and Chris Lange (vice-captain) will lead the 2nds. Russ Barker is 3rds skipper.
Outdoor practice for juniors on Fridays, and senior sessions on Thursdays, are underway. For more information call Graham Hurst (seniors) on 01270 625822, or Bernie Bishop (juniors) on 01270 666552.
ELWORTH have waved goodbye to their most senior player, but have plenty of reasons to be positive, in Division One.
Long-serving Kev Ballard has joined Rode Park, but Mike Robinson, Andrew Thurston and Scott Elliott are all back at the club.
Lee Morris, John Clayton and brothers Mike and Tom Taker have all joined from Haslington, while Oliver Webb has signed up after moving to South Cheshire from Surrey.
South African professional Murray Ranger has been made skipper in his second season at London Road, with Matthew Buckley taking over as vice-captain.
Ross Kesteven will lead the 2nds, backed by Nick Morgan, as they bid to retain the title they won in 2006.
In Division Two, WESTON h ave announced the major signing of a batsman who smashed a record set by Sir Garry Sobers.
Their new professional is Raj Kumar, who averaged 102 in 2000 to wrestle the League's batting record from the legendary West Indies all-rounder.
Kumer, plays for Jharkland State in India, has joined from Caverswall and will also adopt a coaching role at Weston.
He is joined by fellow new arrivals Phil Washington (Kidsgrove), Qasim Haleem (Oulton), Ben Harrington (Haslington) and Richard Vale. Jon Minshull, who has joined Wistaston, is the only player to exit.
Chairman Dave Allcock said: 'With promising young players such as James Littlewood, Chris Barratt and Richard Newton now in the squad, a successful season is anticipated. A £5,000 refurbishment has also spruced up the clubhouse.'
Gary Jennison will skipper the team, while Martin Stockton will lead the 2nds. Andy Hopper will captain the 3rds on Sundays, while Steve Neale will be skipper of the new 4th team, which has entered the Stone Sunday League. Matt Hatton is U15s captain, and there are also junior teams at U9, U11 and U13 levels.
BETLEY are looking forward to the 2007 season with renewed confidence, after last season's disappointing relegation from the top tier.
Proven wicket-taker Gagandeep Singh has joined from Wood Lane, as have Ashley Guest and James Austen.
The new-look XI, led by skipper Neil Harrison, will also featured former Haslington men Richard Bebbington and Chris Henderson, along with Paul Belfield (Woore).
Club spokesman John Machin said: 'We hope these players will off-set the departure of last year's captain Adrian Butler, who has joined Wood Lane. We are excited by the appointment of Singh. He has performed successfully in the League in the past.' Betley will field a new U17 team this year, two U15 teams, U13 and U11 outfits and a girls team.