PURTON have stepped up their preparations for the new West of England Premier League season with the signing of Indian under 19 international Akarshit Gomel.

The talented all-rounder played a prominent role in Purton’s promotion from the Wiltshire League, scoring more than 1,100 runs and taking over 40 wickets as his side romped to the Division One title.

Captain Elliot Hill was delighted with his latest acquisition, especially given Gomel was courted by a number of other clubs in the region before plumping for Purton.

“It’s pretty obvious what he did last year,” Hill told the Advertiser. “I heard he had several clubs sniffing about seeing if he was available, so on a personal and on a club basis to have him commit to us for another year speaks volumes about the way the club’s progressing and shows that someone who’s clearly heavily talented at cricket wants to be part of our club at the moment.

“He can see what we’re achieving and on that basis it’s a great feather in our cap.

“If we’d have lost him going into next season it would have been very tricky to replace him. He scored over 1,100 runs and took around 40 wickets at that’s hard to replace in a single player.

“To have him on board for this year is great news.”

It’s not only at first-team level that Gomel’s contribution to the club was noticed in 2013. He was a key member of the youth section’s coaching department and worked hard with star-in-the-making opening batsman Elijah Samuel.

“He’s been great with Elijah’s development, opening the batting with him,” said Hill. “I know Elijah has spoken about learning a lot off him. He’s always up there in the evenings helping out the younger players.

“Even right up to the top of the club, we’ve learnt different aspects of the game from him, about how hungry he is to score runs – whether it’s against a world class attack or someone he finds it easier to score runs against.

“His hunger to score runs and take wickets and play cricket is something that rubbed off on all of us last year and made us more ruthless in the way we played our game.”

Purton start their winter net sessions next Tuesday evening, February 4, at Prior Park School in Cricklade. Any interested parties should contact Hill via email on elliot.hill@purtoncc.co.uk for more information. New players of all abilities are welcome.