MAKING A MARK: Sean Whitehead signed from South Africa has boosted the strength of Barney Cricket Club’s 1st XI
MAKING A MARK: Sean Whitehead signed from South Africa has boosted the strength of Barney Cricket Club’s 1st XI

SOUTH African professional cricketer Sean Whitehead has joined Barnard Castle Cricket Club for the 2024 season. Speaking to the Teesdale Mercury the all-rounder said: “I’m here to help bring success to the club and combined with the rest of the team, I feel this is certainly possible.”

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler has an exalted record at home, but has also gained three English summers’ experience with Rochdale and Rawtenstall cricket clubs. It is his bowling that must have caught the eye of Barnard Castle’s recruitment panel.

He possesses a frugal economy rate of 2.81 per over in first class cricket, and in the much more attacking 20-over form of the game, this only rises to 6.62, mumbers of which even the best international white ball specialists would be in awe.

His economic style brings scalps. He has 74 first-class wickets in 22 matches, and he will be looking to continue this potency into the English summer with Barney.

The Free State native entered the history books in 2021 when playing for South Western Districts in South Africa, he took 10-36 which placed him 13th in the all-time best bowling figures.

These figures are hugely enhanced when considering that most of the figures on the list were achieved in the time of uncovered sticky wickets.

In post-war statistics he lies third and has the best figures in world cricket since 1995.

He has already shown the Barney faithful what he is capable of when he grabbed a hat-trick in their National Cup game against Hetton Lyons. In that game he took his first five-wicket haul for the club and received a baggy blue cap to mark the occasion.

Despite his impressive resumé, Sean is here with the motivation to keep improving his own game.

“When you come and play away from home it’s vital that you come here to try and learn something new about your game. I think the standard here is really high and that allows me to be able to work on things in a very competitive environment.”

As well as his bowling prowess, he has mastery of an attacking shot-making batting style. This has allowed him to maintain a first-class average of 37.73 which the club will be hoping will strike fear into opposition bowling attacks.

He has a first-class high score of 155 not out – something Barney will be hoping he can repeat in the coming weeks.

He has recently been playing alongside South Africa international Matthew Breetzke for the Warriors in the CSA T20 Challenge, based in Port Elizabeth. In that esteemed competition he lined up against opposition that included internationally renowned players including JJ Smuts and Andile Phehlukwayo.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler is looking to make his mark on the NYSD and aims to be an invaluable cog in Barney’s title challenging machine.

“The league looks to be really exciting, with the several cups we are also entered in there is a huge drive at the club to be successful.

“I have set myself personal targets as well for the team.”

Sean is here for more than personal goals; he aims to bring silverware to Vere Road.

“It’s great that we clearly have such a strong side, it means I can be selfless and do exactly what the team requires.

“At the end of the day, I hope that as a team we can be successful and achieve everything our unlimited potential allows us to.”

The all-rounder joins fellow professionals Karl Carver and Ed Barnes at the club and fans of the team can be forgiven for being excited as season unfolds.