By Liam Moakes 01/03 Updated: 01/03 15:54
STUDLEY CC have signalled their intentions to clinch Birmingham League Division Three promotion this season by signing New Zealand native Te Ahu Davis.
The Washford Fields club's capture of all-rounder Davis as their overseas pro is a major fillip as, as well as being one of if not the quickest bowler in the Birmingham League, he is also a very useful batsman.
Twenty-six-year-old Davis, currently living in Melbourne, was tipped for international honours a few seasons ago and attracted the interest of Warwickshire, but a spell on the sidelines through injury has seen him fall down the pecking order in terms of selection for the Kiwis' national side.
Davis, who replaces quick bowler Gagandeep Singh as Studley's pro following the Indian's move to a team in Derby, now hopes his spell in England will help his chances of catching the eyes of selectors back home in New Zealand as he looks to produce his top form.
Davis shot to prominence in 2004 after making the New Zealand U19s side and being awarded the inaugural New Zealand Youth Cricket Scholarship.
The award provided Davis $20,000 towards developing his cricket skills and his education in which he gained a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation.
He has since gone on to play for New Zealand U19s, New Zealand Academy, New Zealand Emerging Players, Northern Districts and Bay of Plenty.
At one stage in his career Davis impressed the New Zealand selectors suitably enough to earn selection to the New Zealand Emerging Players squad which took on the touring English Lions.
His performances did not disappoint as he took 3-61 in his first game including the wickets of Stephen Moore, Robert Key and Samit Patel.
Davis was then named in the New Zealand side for the Cricket Australia Emerging Players Tournament in July 2009, but most recently he has enjoyed success in Australia whilst playing for Melbourne-based side Buckley Ridges since 2010 in the strong Dandenong and District Competition.
Davis hit 249 runs at 22.64 and blitzed 29 scalps at 16.79 to conclude a fine season at first-grade level.
Davis has since relocated to Melbourne and remains a dominant figure for the 'Bucks'.
To date this season, courtesy of best bowling figures of 5-11, he tops the league wicket-taking charts, sits just outside the top ten run-scorers and is competiting with ex-Devon all-rounder Steven Spoljaric as the DDCA's best all-rounder.
Studley CC's head coach Andy Rhodes said: "Everyone at the club is very excited by this signing. We have high hopes he can inspire the team to success and believe the pace of his bowling and destructive batting will be an inspiration to the team.
"We have new captains this year in our Birmingham League teams as Brandon Miller is the new first team captain and young Chris Moss is the new second team captain.
"We are really hopeful of enjoying success in the league and in the t20 tournaments in 2012."
MEANWHILE, Studley are entering two teams in to the U13 and U15 leagues this year and need new players to join the junior ranks.
The club are running their senior winter nets at Prince Henry's High School in Evesham at the Worcestershire Cricket Centre on Sundays and have spare lanes that hopefully juniors can use free of charge.
They will be able to receive coaching to see if they would like to join Studley's junior academy. For more details contact Andy Rhodes on 07816 328669.
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