Beaton and Visavadiya commit to side

Tom Beaton
Tom Beaton
The departure lounge has been crowded during the off season but not all  the cricket traffic has been heading north.

While Otago will be without the services of the likes of Jimmy Neesham and Neil Wagner this summer, the Volts have made some quiet gains around the fringes.

Remember Tom Beaton — the promising  Melbourne Renegades batsman who two years ago sacrificed Christmas Day so he could jump on a plane and join Otago for its twenty20 fixture against Canterbury on Boxing Day?

Well, the 27-year-old Australian has decided to return and has signed a declaration of intent to qualify as a local player. Initially, he will only be available to be selected as an overseas player in the twenty20 campaign.

But he hopes to follow the likes of Michael Rippon and Christi Viljoen and press his case for a contract once he is eligible.

"It is exciting that he is prepared to move countries to come and play cricket here," coach Rob Walter said.

"There are a few others that are unconfirmed which I would be out of place to mention in case they don’t end up here.

"But there is a chap called Tommy Clout from Northern Districts who already has a job here. He has been down here for a month now.

"He’s a left-arm seamer who played for Northern Districts A last year and he is also excited by the potential opportunity and is keen to put his name forward."

Prolific Southland run-scorer Harsh Visavadiya (27) has also thrown his kit in with Otago cricket. The Indian all-rounder caught the selectors’ attention with a remarkable innings of 199 against South Canterbury in a Hawke Cup fixture in Invercargill. He also has signed a declaration.

Beaton and Visavadiya might be hard pushed to get much game time this season; rumours are emerging the Volts will sign an overseas player for the twenty20 campaign.

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