Mildenhall could not say no to signing Best
Throughout his long career, Tino Best has taken wickets at some of cricket’s biggest venues.
In 2004, the charismatic West Indian bowler dismissed England’s opening batsman Marcus Trescothick at Lord’s, while just four years ago he sent India captain MS Dhoni packing in front of a 66,000-strong capacity Eden Gardens crowd in Kolkata.
But as revealed exclusively by The Newmarket Journal and Bury Free Press this week Best, 35, has agreed terms on a deal to turn out for Mildenhall on their return to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
The club were supplied with a number of options to fill their overseas void, but once the veteran of 25 Tests and 26 one-day international appearances came into the equation, there was only one target for captain Ben Shepperson.
“We were offered a few overseas players, but when someone like Tino becomes available, you have to take that opportunity,” said the skipper.
“As soon as his name came up I wanted him immediately.
“We can throw him the ball at any stage and know that something will happen.
“You need big characters within your team to win games of cricket and they do not come much bigger than Tino.”
Best, who has signed on at Wamil Way until the end of the July when he will return to his native Barbados for Caribbean Premier League duty, was clocking in and around the 90mph mark for County Championship Division One side Hampshire in 2016.
Similar speeds in this year’s EAPL will add a major string to Mildenhall’s bow, and Shepperson is intrigued as to how opposition batsmen go about dealing with that threat.
“Players are probably going to treat facing him in different ways,” he added.
“Some will try to score runs and hit boundaries, for which hopefully he will have too much pace.
“Others might try to block him, which is fine because that will build pressure and we can take wickets up the other end.
“When it comes to setting fields, who am I to disagree with someone like Tino?
“But I know the players we are up against and he will not have that knowledge, so I think we will work well together. It is exciting times for the club.”
Mildenhall are hopeful that Best will be available for Saturday’s season-opener against Vauxhall Mallards (11am).