HORSPATH have moved quickly to show they aim to bounce back next season by signing Indian all-rounder Anupam Sanklecha as their overseas player for 2020.

The club’s three-year stay in Home Counties Premier League Division 1 came to an end last month when they were relegated.

Their campaign was made tougher by the loss of South African

all-rounder Darryl Brown to a serious knee injury midway through the summer.

However, by signing Sanklecha, who was a prolific wicket-taker and steady run-scorer for Shipton-under-Wychwood in Division 2 from

2014-18, they have shown an intention to return to the top flight at the first attempt.

Hailing the 37-year-old’s capture as a “brilliant signing”, Horspath captain Will Eason knows from

first-hand experience what a talented player-coach they will have in their ranks.

“His record speaks for itself,” he said.

“We have played against him and know how good a player he is because of the damage he has done against us over the years.

“As a batting side in particular you are on edge about what he can do because he has such a high skill level.

“Over the last year and a half Darryl has been fantastic for us and we had to try and get someone in that can contribute as much to the club as he has.

“There’s no-one better than someone we have played against and who has done it against us.

“When you have a guy that produces spells like Anupam has over the years in your armoury he will hopefully contribute to tight games like the ones we lost this year.

“But it’s not just with the ball, he will contribute with the bat as well. In his last couple of years in the league he got 1,000 runs combined.”

Sanklecha took 245 league wickets with his right-arm medium-fast bowling during his five seasons at Shipton.

He was Division 2’s leading wicket-taker on two occasions, with his best return coming in 2017 when he claimed 63 victims, which included an amazing 8-8 against Reading.

A left-handed middle-order batsman, he also racked up 1,708 league runs at an average of 27.59 with a top score of 110 not out at Datchet in 2017 when he enjoyed his best campaign with 608 runs.

He did not play this year following Shipton’s relegation in 2018, but is now preparing for a campaign in India with Maharashtra, for whom he has taken 200 first-class wickets at an average of 25.60 and scored 923 runs.

Eason believes that with both parties focused on the same target it will only serve Horspath well as they target a promotion challenge in 2020.

He added: “It’s the perfect scenario for both of us. We have a new guy coming in who has a phenomenal record over the last five or six years.

“There is a bit of an incentive for him. I think the way to look at it is that it is good for him and us.

“It shows how keen we are to really push for promotion next year and I suppose for him there is a bit of unfinished business in terms of getting promoted into that top league.”