Rain stops play before start of new season

Batsman Abdul Saddique for Barnoldswick CC.
Batsman Abdul Saddique for Barnoldswick CC.

The start of the Ribblesdale Cricket League season has been delayed, due to the poor weather.

The league was scheduled to get underway on Saturday, but the Senior League fixtures for the weekend will now be replayed at a later date.

Barnoldswick are looking to bounce back to Section A of the Ribblesdale League after suffering demotion last season.

And vice-captain John Hall feels that is a more than realistic aim.

The club have retained the services of the Siddique brothers Abdul and Umar – Abdul having hit 1,225 runs last season to finish second in the league standings, including professionals.

And they have promoted 18-year-old Johnny Beech – son of club stalwart Paul – to open the bowling.

Sri Lankan professional Sashreeka Pussegolla flew in on Tuesday, and Hall said: “We’re hoping for big things.

“If we can bowl more sides out this season, get those last few wickets – and the pro should help with that – we’re hopeful we will do well.

“We’re now in the bottom half of the Senior League, and our ambition is to get back on top of the pile, and get a promotion place.

“We lost nine games on the bounce in the middle of last season, and we need to get away from nearly winning games, and finish the tail off, or add another 20, 30 runs somewhere.

“We didn’t play bad cricket, but we have the best track in the league and we eneded up chasing a lot of scores above 250.”

He added: “Abdul and Umar are massive players for us, they enjoy their cricket here and are lovely guys.

“And Johnny we are expecting a lot from – he runs in a long way and has a lot of pace. He’s 18, young, fit, and itching to go.”

Earby will have a new-look, after losing Chris Walton to Colne, and skipper Matt Haines to Keighley.

Professional David Crotty has rejoined Nelson, and the Applegarth side have recruited Free State all rounder Anton Muller.

Matt Garner skippers the side, with Matt Wilson and Derek Proud back at the club, and Garner said: “We just want to add a bit of structure and get some young players coming through.

“It will be a big year for Jake Greenbank and Luke Hipgrave, and Sam Parry from the Under 15s, who has done well in the Upper Airedale set up.”