Former England seam bowler Neal Radford has saluted Craig Haupt after he passed 10,000 runs in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League.
The South African-born left-hander became the first player to achieve the milestone with an innings of 26 at Henley in Saturday’s division one opener.
Haupt accumulated the runs over 18 seasons in the HCPCL, though he had been playing at Banbury for several seasons before the league’s formation when the Cherwell, Thames Valley and Hertfordshire leagues merged in the year 2000.
Radford, the former Worcestershire and England seamer who played with Haupt at Banbury between 1996 and 2000 said: “He was simply the best batsman in the League and went on to represent Oxfordshire at Minor County Level. Had he been English qualified, he may have gone onto higher things as he certainly was capable.
“Beyond his runs, he was a superb fielder and offered the team invaluable off spin. Craig was a complete team man through and through and to reach a milestone of 10,000 in the Home Counties Premier League is magnificent.”
Former captain Jimmy Phillips added: “During the first six or seven years of the HCPCL, Craig was simply a class apart. His runs led Banbury to the title in the year 2000.
“Two years later when half of that side had retired he, as captain and through sheer weight of runs, carried a side of teenagers through several relegation battles. We were never relegated and I am also convinced he was the best slip fielder in the country, at any level, in the late 90s and early 2000s.”