Delport set for debut

Lewis Hill has been named in a 14-man Leicestershire squad. Picture courtesy of Neville Chadwick Photography
Lewis Hill has been named in a 14-man Leicestershire squad. Picture courtesy of Neville Chadwick Photography

Cameron Delport is set to make his first-class debut for Leicestershire after the hard-hitting South African was drafted into the Foxes’ squad for tomorrow’s Specsavers County Championship match against Glamorgan.

Delport, whose ancestral visa means he is not an ‘overseas’ player, replaces captain Mark Cosgrove, who misses the match against his former county due to suspension.

Ned Eckersley leads the team in Cosgrove’s absence, while Dieter Klein, Tom Wells, Charlie Shreck and Lewis Hill are also included in a 14-man squad.

Delport, who was originally signed to play white ball cricket for Leicestershire this season, made 157 for Leicestershire’s second team in their Trophy match at Northants on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old left-hander is a noted white ball specialist, playing for Dolphins and Qalanders, but has also enjoyed success playing first-class cricket for Kwa-Zulu Natal.

“Cameron has earned his place in the squad with a big score and that is exactly the sort of performance we are looking for,” said Leicestershire head coach Pierre de Bruyn.

“The batting at the top of the order is an issue: four innings in a row we have under-performed as a batting unit, and we are certainly better than that. It’s very tough when you’re 14-2, 14-3, in every innings, trying to play catch-up cricket. We’re also making schoolboy errors, losing wickets just before and just after breaks.

“In a situation like this we have the right to look at other options, and with the captain unavailable due to suspension and Colin Ackermann due to injury, there have to be changes, which is maybe a good thing.”

All-rounder Ben Raine, who tops both the batting and bowling averages, believes beating Glamorgan can do more than steady a Leicestershire ship rocking after heavy opening defeats by Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire.

“I look around the dressing room and I see lads who are capable of pulling off something special, and that’s what we need now,” said Raine.

“We’ve lost the first two but we still want to be pushing for promotion and if you look over the course of a season you’re going to lose two games – that’s how I’m looking at it and I hope the rest of the lads are too.

“We were expecting better results, and if we haven’t had the rub of the green sometimes, we’ve contributed, including by dropping catches. But there’s full confidence we have enough to turn it around. It’s a massive game against a team in a similar position, and both teams will be looking to kick-start their season.”