NEW Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club player-coach Johnny Bassett-Graham says he is happy to be following in the footsteps of compatriot Tom Blundell at Castle Park.

Blundell, who played as Colchester’s overseas player in the Shepherd Neame Essex League in the summers of 2012 and 2013, has been named in the New Zealand squad for the Cricket World Cup which gets underway at the end of this month.

The Kiwi wicket-keeper has gone from strength to strength following his spell at Colchester and scored a magnificent 107 not out for his country against West Indies at his home ground in Wellington in 2017.

And former Auckland player Bassett-Graham, who is also a wicket-keeper, says it is great to continue the strong link between the club and his native country.

He told the Gazette: “It’s awesome to come to a club like Colchester with New Zealand links.

“It’s a club where Tom had a fair bit of success, during his time here.

“He’s now part of the New Zealand squad for the forthcoming World Cup, which is an awesome achievement for him.

“There’s good links there and I believe the president of the club (Colin Perkins) has been over to New Zealand for the last three years.

“It’s great to carry on those links and hopefully in the future there might be an opportunity for a couple of young cricketers to go over to New Zealand and play a bit of cricket."

Colchester are in action tomorrow when they take on Chigwell-based Fives and Heronians in the Dukes Essex League Cup.

They begin their Shepherd Neame Essex League division one season with a home game against Loughton, next weekend.

Frinton will be hoping to make it three straight wins when they welcome Burwell and Exning to Ashlyns Road tomorrow (11am start).

Mike Comber’s side have won their opening two East Anglian Premier League fixtures, defeating Great Witchingham before seeing off Vauxhall Mallards last Saturday.

They pocketed 25 points on each occasion, meaning they are one of only three sides to be proudly sitting on 50 points.

The others are early leaders Copdock and Old Ipswichian and third-placed Sudbury.

Tomorrow’s opponents, Burwell, have won one and lost one of their opening Premier League fixtures.