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English import changes pace

Barbados' oldest club, Wanderers, have been attracting overseas cricketers since the turn of the decade

Haydn Gill
Barbados' oldest club, Wanderers, have been attracting overseas cricketers since the turn of the decade.
During the 1990s, about 20 overseas players have turned out in the Barbados Cricket Association Division 1 championship and nearly half have represented the Dayrells Road club.
The latest one to appear is Englishman Rupert Swetman, who played for England Schoolboys as a 15-year-old and went on to captain English Universities.
Swetman, 22, plays for Middlesex in the English County Second XI Championship.
A right-handed batsman and part-time medium-pacer, he made his local debut last Saturday in the eighth round match against Empire at Bank Hall.
"I came out here on a tour earlier this year in January. I got a hundred against Wanderers. I spoke to them about coming back later in the year and they followed up," Swetman said when asked how the opportunity came about.
The Bristol-born Swetman plans to remain in Barbados for the rest of the season in which he hopes to gain valuable experience.
"It's a different type of cricket to what I'm used to playing," he said. "It's different bowling - it's quicker - and I hope the experience will improve my game."
He got the chance to experience those conditions over the weekend against a bowler of some pace.
"It (the pitch) looks difficult to play on because it's wet," he said of Saturday's wicket.
The following day he was out in the middle for his first innings. It was short-lived, as Patterson Thompson knocked over his off-stump with a magnificent yorker first-ball.
Swetman joins a long list of overseas imports at Wanderers. Ever since Jeffrey Dujon, the former West Indies wicket-keeper played for them in 1990 and 1991, others have followed.
St. Lucian Bryan Stephen, a former West Indies Youth team batsman, played for the club in 1993 while studying at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
A trio of South Africans followed.
Dale Benkenstein, who has since gone on to play One-Day Internationals, had four matches in 1994, and Wendell Bossenger, a century-maker in a first-class match against the West Indies last year, came over in 1995. Opener Phil Hearl, who now plays first-class cricket for Transvaal, played for Wanderers in 1997.
Vincentian Denis Byam, Guyanese Clayton Lambert, Kevin Mark and Shawn Thompson have also been guests at Wanderers.