HEREFORDSHIRE County Cricket Club have signed hard-hitting batsman and leftarm spinner Bradley Wadlan.

The 22-year-old opener cracked 74 runs from just 53 balls in Wales’ drawn match with Herefordshire at Usk last season.

“I was asked if I wanted to continue playing for Wales next season but I just felt it was a team for the academy boys and not as competitive as I wanted,”

explained Wadlan.

“I spoke to one of the Herefordshire selectors after the match at Usk and he said they would be interested in me.

“I have played against Steve Adshead a few times and I have told Herefordshire and Chris Boroughs that I am keen to play in as many Minor Counties games as I can.

“I am really looking forward to playing for Herefordshire and I have had some very nice messages from people since I decided to join.”

Wadlan, from Bridgend in South Wales, has been having trials this winter with the Unicorns, who play in the Clydesdale Bank 40 overs competition.

He has also been training with Northamptonshire, for whom he played a second- team match against Warwickshire in 2010.

Last May, he blasted 15 sixes in an innings of 205 off 125 balls as Pentyrch toppled Blackwood in the Glamorgan and M o n m o u t h s h i r e Cricket League.

Wadlan had an academy contract at Glamorgan last season and said his remarkable knock drew praise from Matthew Maynard.

“I have been 12th man for two or three Glamorgan championship matches and I have trained with the first team,” he said.

“But I don’t feel that I am going to play for Glamorgan.”

The former Cardiff University student played his junior cricket at Bridgend and rejoined his home-town club from Pentyrch last month.

Brockhampton batsman Ben Stebbings, who hit 395 runs for Herefordshire in 2009 at an average of 30.38, is returning to the county.

“Ben did very well two years ago and because, he was at Oxford Brookes University, he thought it might benefit him to play for Oxfordshire Minor Counties,” said Herefordshire skipper Boroughs.

“But Ben didn't get any games for Oxfordshire last year so we are delighted to have him back.”

Seam bowler Luke Sellers hopes to play more three-day games for Herefordshire this season.

“So far I have been pretty much ever present in the one-day team in the last three years,” said Sellers.

“I am keen to play more championship matches this year and my new job should allow it,” said the Chepstow all-rounder.

However, Herefordshire have lost two players. Atiq Chisti has linked up with Staffordshire and James Ralph has rejoined Shropshire.

Former Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Adshead is remaining with the club as Herefordshire look to build on last season’s two championship victories.

“We need to have a warm-up game and we hope to hit the ground running when we play our first competitive game,” said Boroughs.

“We did well at times last season and got into some promising positions. But when you’re playing on flat wickets you need firepower in the bowling.”