Camberley is fizzing to announce the re-signing of Kiwi sensation Lauchie Johns for their 2023 Surrey Championship campaign.
Johns is an explosive wicket-keeper batter from New Zealand’s capital, Wellington.
Over the past 5 years, Johns has featured in 25 List A, 12 First-Class, and 3 T20 matches, for a Firebirds side featuring the likes of Blackcaps players Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, and Hamish Bennett.
Such was his promise, John’s made his List A debut for a New Zealand XI against the touring Pakistanis in January 2018, having made his Plunket Shield (First-Class) debut a few months earlier (November 2017). Roll on October 2018, and John’s would make a headline-grabbing Ford Trophy (List A) debut, taking a New Zealand record 7 catches. Thereafter, he played a crucial role in the Firebirds’ triumphant Trophy campaign, with the highlight his 24 off 20 balls to take his side to victory in the penultimate over.
During the initial stages of the 2020/21 Ford Trophy season, Johns opened the batting for the Firebirds with success, striking at over 100, with the side’s highest boundary-per-delivery ratio.
Unfortunately for Johns, stiff competition from kiwi gloveman Conway and Blundell has limited opportunities, and he wasn’t offered a domestic contract for the 2021/22 season. Given his omission, Johns is desperate to impress for both Wellington A, and club side, Eastern Suburbs, with a view to regaining his slot in future.
It’s fair to say, Johns has been a stand-out performer for Easts, New Zealand’s most successful club side for the past 8-years. Following his match-winning 100* (63 balls) against Zimbabwe Under-19 for Wellington A in 2017, Johns has dominated Wellington Premier Club cricket.
He is already the club’s most successful wicket-keeper and is swiftly climbing up the run charts. In Wellington’s Two-Day Premier Competition, Johns boasts run averages of 52.83 (2017/18), 33.86 (2018/19), 142 (2019/20), 91.40 (2020/21), and 64 (2021/22) including 6 centuries during this period – 3 in succession during the 2020/21 season, namely 120 (62) v North City, 176 (152) v Wellington Collegians, and 120 (126) v Petone-Riverside. Over the past two seasons, Johns has also skippered the side, demonstrating his undoubted leadership skills.
Current Wellington Firebirds and former interim Blackcaps coach, Glenn Pocknall has overseen Johns’ development for over ten years and mirrors this sentiment:
“Lauchie has always looked to play his cricket positively. With the bat this comes in the form of him being able to hit boundaries and score quickly from ball one. When you add his versatility as a keeper it makes him a real threat in the shorter forms of the game. Recently he has been adding more skills to his long-form game and it’s this hunger to learn and improve which I admire about him.”
Johns remains a tremendous prospect and a view toward his ongoing development embarked on his maiden UK stint in 2022. It’s fair to say, he absolutely dominated the Surrey Championship guiding his Camberley side to the division 2 title courtesy of 1,009 runs at 67.27, with two centuries and a highest score of 206*. However, it was the way he went about his business that really impressed, taking the attack to the opposition up top to finish with a league strike rate of 125.50.
Given his success, and the club’s promotion to Division 1, Camberley is delighted to confirm Johns will be returning for their 2023 Surrey Championship campaign.