10,000 premier league runs for ‘simply the best’ Haupt

Craig Haupt has passed 10,000 runs in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League (HCPCL). The South African born left-hander became the first player to achieve the milestone with an innings of 26 against Henley Cricket Club today (5 May 2018)

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.

Neal 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.”

Radford also noted that Haupt’s ‘simple desire for runs stood out’. That desire has kept him playing into his 46th year, despite a major knee operation in his early forties.

Over Haupt’s 17 ECB Premier League seasons (he missed the 2015 season through injury), he has scored 24 centuries and 57 fifties at an average of 44. His highest score was a record-breaking 200* vs Beaconsfield in 2001 as he shared an unbroken opening stand of 325 with Andrew Sabin. In a poetic turn of events, he is now vice-captain to Sabin’s son, Lloyd.

Former Captain, at Banbury, Jimmy Phillips said:
“During the first six or seven years of the HCPCL he was a class apart. His runs lead 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. I am also convinced he was the best slip fielder in the country, at any level, in the late 90s and early 2000s.”

Haupt’s career started in Cape Town, and he represented Western Province and South Africa U19s. He remains close friends with former South African star Hershelle Gibbs to this day. During a time before Kolpak contracts and when the qualification period for England was seven years, he turned down a contract offer at Western Province opting instead to remain in Banbury where he had moved as overseas professional. The decision proved to be a defining one for Banbury Cricket Club, and one that has haunted hundreds of bowlers in the Home Counties region


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