Former England Under-19 captain Adam Ball has signed to play Minor Counties cricket for Suffolk during the 2018 season.
Suffolk moved to secure the signature of Ball due to the uncertainty of the availability of award-winning batsman Jaik Mickleburgh, whose job as cricket professional at Brentwood School will limit his availability this summer.
Ball, who considers himself as a batting all-rounder, was released by Kent at the end of last season, after featuring in 31 first-class matches since making his debut in 2011.
He also played in 32 List A matches and a further 38 T20 fixtures.
The 25-year-old, who will play his club cricket for Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, attracted interest from Leicestershire and Durham at the end of last season.
Although nothing came of it and he has been doing a variety of jobs during the winter, Ball remains keen on a return to first-class cricket after a frustrating summer which saw his opportunities limited.
He said: “I want to get the enjoyment back, which is part of the reason I have moved away from Kent, so that I can play on different grounds against different teams and prove myself as a good player. I am looking forward to the challenge.
“I want to earn the respect of my peers in the Suffolk team by showing them what I can do as a cricketer. I want to score hundreds and take five-fors.
“Whether I can get back into the first-class game all comes down to how I perform, but I want to score as many runs and take as many wickets as I can and enjoy myself whilst playing good, competitive cricket.”
It was former Kent bowler Matt Hunn, who is still dual registered with Suffolk, who put the Minor County in touch with Ball, who met his new team-mates for the first time on Monday evening.
Among them was former Essex player Mickleburgh, who won the Wilfred Rhodes Trophy last season for the batsman with the highest average in the Minor Counties Championship.
The pair know each other well, after previously playing for a combined Essex-Kent 2nd XI side in annual friendly matches versus Durham.