NEW Milton skipper Ryan Beck has questioned the merits and benefits of fielding overseas players in the Southern Premier League.
Clubs outside the top flight are permitted to register both contracted players and foreign nationals, although only one may play in the same game.
According to a directive in the SPL handbook, overseas players are expected to take “a full and active part in club junior activities” and they feature in ECB-accredited leagues up and down the country.
Their presence has long been a debating point among clubs with some choosing to take the route every year and others preferring to steer clear.
Aussie Josh Hill hardly set the world alight for New Milton in 2011, while Sri Lankan Indika Senaratne had to cut short his stay with the club in 2010 after it emerged he had played – in good faith – without the relevant coaching qualifications.
Division One leaders New Milton will face Zimbabwean under-19 international Kieran Geyle when they travel to second-placed Sarisbury Athletic on Saturday (1pm).
Beck, whose team will be bidding to maintain their 100 per cent winning record, told the Daily Echo: “I think it is good that we are top of the table without any overseas players. We have 11 players paying a match fee and haven’t needed to rely on an overseas player to bail us out.
“We seem to be playing against one every week and have had a few ourselves. But I don’t think it is a road we will be going down again because they were of little benefit to the club.
“I am not against them and clubs are fully entitled to bring them in. I understand why they do but I don’t think it is a true reflection on your club.
“Clubs can either go up or stay up with an overseas and then they leave. A lot of them win games single-handedly and I’m not sure that is of any real benefit to a club in the long term.”
Wicketkeeper Tom Prodomo returns as New Milton make one change for the trip to Sarisbury’s Allotment Road where they will be bidding for a ninth straight win.
“It is our biggest game of the season so far,” added Beck. “But nothing will be decided by the result because there are still a lot of big games and good teams in the league.”
Also in Division One, Bournemouth will be looking to maintain their recent revival when they host bottom-placed Hursley Park at Chapel Gate (1pm). Dave Kidner returns in place of JP Cronje.
New Milton: R Beck, L Beck, J Park, N Park, Lawes, House, T Prodomo, Elliott, Watts, Staniford, Gargaro.
Bournemouth: Miller, Bridgen, Hayward, Kitson, Schmulian, Hurley, Russell, Matthews, Kidner, Jones, Singh.
- Wicketkeeper Dan Friedman, fresh from making his Minor Counties debut for Berkshire this week, will be hoping to help Bashley down Premier Division leaders South Wilts at BCG, while Darren Cowley is unavailable for Lymington’s Sports Ground encounter with Ventnor (both 11.30am).
Bashley: R Morris, Porter, Baker, J Morris, Thomson, Morgan, Ridley, Friedman, Lilley, Grierson, Nash.
Lymington: Beetham, Mortimer, Rogers, Scott, Ambrose, Hand, Beetham, Metcalfe, Ellis, Jennings, Layman, McCann.