Garry Park will be in action for Cambridgeshire for the first time in seven years when they travel to Norfolk in the Minor Counties Championship tomorrow.
Park, 29, was released by Derbyshire by mutual consent 10 days ago and Cambs have been quick to snap up the all-rounder’s services.
Captain Paul McMahon felt the former Cambridge MCCU and Cambridge Granta player, who last featured for Cambs in 2005, would provide a major boost to the county’s chances of winning the Eastern Division.
He said: “It’s quite exciting to have Garry playing because he’s a Cambridgeshire lad who has been playing at the top level with Derbyshire and Durham for the last few years.
“He hasn’t had his contract renewed by Derbyshire for next season, but he wanted to get some good cricket under his belt, so he can be in a position to take any professional opportunity that does come along.
“Garry will bat at No 4 and effectively be our third seamer, so it strengthens us all round.”
His brother, Granta skipper Sean Park, also returns after recovering from an ankle problem, but Alex Fullarton misses out after picking up a knee injury while fielding in this week’s vital six-run win at home to Suffolk.
David Clarke replaces the Granta batsman at the top of the order while Alan Burton comes in for Peter Richer after recovering from an ankle injury.
Richer’s Burwell team-mate Glen Goosen and Joe Dawborn have also been left out.
McMahon remains confident Cambs can stay on course against Norfolk at Horsford after the dramatic fashion in which they came through against Suffolk.
He said: “If you’d spoken to me on Monday, I’d have been even more pessimistic than I was last Sunday because I couldn’t see how we could win the game.
“We had a first innings deficit and a batting collapse in the second innings, but we managed to scrape through to a 150-run lead with a few tail-end partnerships.
“On a flat pitch, it shouldn’t have been enough, but we bowled and fielded tremendously and put pressure on Suffolk and capitalised on our chances.
“Norfolk have drawn all three of their games, but if we win our last three matches, we won’t be far away.”