CRAIG Gibbens has tipped Jack Haines to be “the next Kevin Iles” for Goatacre in the coming years.
The teenage all-rounder smashed 487 runs and claimed 12 wickets as the village club came within a point of promotion to WEPL Premier One last year and, with Goatacre actively looking to replace veteran stalwart Iles, Gibbens thinks Haines is up for the job.
It may a significant ask, given that Iles has been Goatacre’s most consistent player for the best part of a quarter-of-a-century with both bat and ball, but Gibbens is confident the starlet has it in him to take on the mantle.
“Batting-wise he’s as destructive as anyone I’ve played with over the years and to think he’s only 18 and is capable of taking attacks apart is fantastic for the future,” said the seamer.
“It’s a hell of a label to take on, the new Kevin Iles. It’s like when Botham left the Test team and everybody was asking after the new Botham. Being the new Kevin Iles I imagine would be quite daunting.
“But Jack’s Jack, he takes everything in his stride and potentially and he is a massive talent. I think he and Brad (Dawson) have got a lot to offer and last year they coped with everything really well.
“This year I think they can both really flourish and actually go to the next level and be real performers and match-winners for us.”