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North Middlesex are back in the top flight in County League

09:30 08 May 2014

North Middlesex are back in the Premier Division

North Middlesex are back in the Premier Division

Max Flego Sports Photography

North Middlesex are back in the top flight of the Middlesex County Cricket League for the first time in 16 years after winning Division Two last season.

The Park Road club won the title in 1990 but went on to finish in the bottom two for five consecutive years between 1994 and 1998 – and when the top division was split into two, they dropped into the second tier.

North Midd fell even further in 2001, being relegated to Division Three and then spending a few years bouncing between the two leagues.

However, they have now completed their comeback to the Premier Division and have strengthened their squad with three exciting signings.

Maruf Chowdhury is an opening bowler and mid-order batsman with Premier League and county second XI experience, while overseas player Michael Clements from Perth, Western Australia, is a top order batsman and also bowls. Middlesex CCC player Andy Balbirnie has also been assigned to North Midd, who are being sponsored by estate agents Benham & Reeves again this season.

However, much of the club’s recent success is down to their ethos of promoting players through their strong colts system, and they underlined the young talent at their disposal by winning the inaugural Middlesex Development League last year.

That policy will continue this term and captain Tom Nicoll said: “We have about a dozen colts and former colts who have come all the way through the club and are now in the top two teams.

“We are excited about testing ourselves in the Premier Division against stronger opposition, on different grounds and in a longer format.

“Our aim is to consolidate our position in the Premier Division this season, with hopes of challenging at the top within a few years.”

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