EVERYTHING in the garden would appear to be rosy for West of Scotland. Not only have the Hamilton Crescent side opened their Western Premier campaign with two hard-fought wins but today they introduce South African international Rory Kleinveldt.
Thanks to the backing of club sponsor McCrea FS, West have been able to secure the services of one of the highest-profile overseas stars to grace these shores for several years.
It also helped that Kleinveldt has significant Scottish connections – his brother-in-law is the Ferguslie captain Riyaad Henry and his father-in-law, the South Africa and Scotland legend Omar Henry.
The 36 year-old, having already had an impact in a midweek McCulloch Cup tie, makes his league debut as West head to Drumpellier today and skipper Ian Young declared: “Everyone at the club is excited to have Rory joining us.
“He is a fantastic player with so much experience that we will all be tapping into to make the club stronger.
“He has already got himself involved in the coaching side and I think it’s great for Scottish cricket generally to have someone of his talent here – people want to play with him and against him.”
That view is shared by Drumps’ skipper Gordon Shaw who declared: “I think all the guys in the league will be looking forward to testing themselves against someone of that calibre. It will be an excellent test for us.”
Like West, 2017 champions Prestwick have an unbeaten record which they aim to extend when they visit a Greenock side yet to break their duck.
Tom Fleet, the Prestwick captain, said: “We’re happy with the start but not getting ahead of ourselves. Greenock have some very good players who are capable of winning games for them but we’ll focus on our own performances.”
Prestwick are without Shahzad Rafiq who is replaced by Matt Morgan while Greenock are missing skipper Neil Flack but Chris Hempsey returns.
It is a similar story at East Kilbride where the home team are also trying to record a first win against Clydesdale who are bidding for a third straight win. Home skipper Qasim Sheikh will be trying to put one over on his former colleagues who are without injured Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington.
Poloc are another side yet to experience the winning feeling and their task could hardly be more difficult today when they entertain an Uddingston team who are flying high, having taken maximum points from their opening three fixtures.
The Shawholm side welcome back Muhammad Dar and Ahmad Chaudhry while the visitors are without Scotland pace bowler Gavin Main.
Champions Ferguslie travel with an unchanged side to face Stirling.