Lake moves to Bovey as Bradley adds depth to Prem talent pool
BOVEY Tracey have signed South African-born batsman Richard Lake from near neighbours Abbotskerswell to bolster their Premier push in the season ahead.
Lake has had two seasons with A Division Abbots, skippering them in the A Division last term.
He previously played West of England Premier Division cricket for Bristol before his work brought him to South Devon.
Peter Bradley, the Bovey Tracey captain, said Lake would add some depth to the top order.
"In the wettest season anyone can remember Richard scored nearly 400 runs for Abbots last season at a respectable average," said Bradley.
"Clearly Richard is an able player and brings a lot of experience to the side. He wanted to step up a level and we are pleased to have him."
Lake said he wanted to have a crack at Premier Division cricket before he has to leave the area.
"This will be my last season in Devon before I move away and I wanted to have a go in the Premier Division before I left," said Lake.
There has been plenty of activity on the player front at Bovey since the season last ended, mostly through the exit.
Early order batsman Chris Clayton has move to Cheltenham where he has a new job while young all-rounder Tom Dyer has returned to Ipplepen after a season.
As Dyer continued to play for Pens' youth teams last season, his decision didn't come as a surprise.
Bovey have also lost quick bowler Matt Kidd to Budleigh Salterton, which Bradley said he could see coming from the end of last season.
"Kiddy wanted travelling expenses to come down from Oxford to play and we were not in a position to pay them," said Bradley.
"Contrary to popular belief, we don't have pots of money to pay out for players.
"We did pay for Matt to do his level two coaching course, expecting he would still be around to use it at the club this year. You are always disappointed to lose a young player, especially one as good as Matt, and he will be missed on the pitch and in the dressing room."
Kidd previously played for Cornwood before moving to Bovey in the 2011 season. He has played for Devon from U17 upwards and has made one appearance for the full county side as well as being part of the Lions development squad.
Bradley himself as only just returned from a three-month spell in Australia, playing for Upper Fern Tree Gully CC in Melbourne district cricket.
He was a team-mate of former Stoke Gabriel player Rob Burnie.
Bradley said the cricket was a world away from what he is used to with Bovey Tracey and Devon.
"We played to a grade format, which was a mixture of games spread over two Saturdays and some one-day fixtures," said Bradley.
"Our games were all played on an artificial pitch and with a two-part ball, not the four-quartered one we use in this country.
"It was certainly different – and the ball swings miles!"