Colne Cricket Club skipper Matthew Walker lays down the gauntlet

Colne professional James Price
Colne professional James Price

Colne CC skipper Matt Walker is challenging his players to raise their game ahead of their inaugural season in the Lancashire League’s second tier.

Colne joined rivals Nelson in Division Two after finishing 18th out of 24 teams last year, while Enfield, Haslingden, Middleton, Littleborough, Great Harwood, Rawtenstall, Bacup, East Lancs, Rishton and Milnrow also missed the cut.

They’ll be without Jhangir Liaqat this term, after the former Burnley man joined Firwood Bootle CC in the Liverpool and District Cricket League.

Martyn Windle, who played half-a-dozen games at the start of last season, has also left the club and returned to Earby.

However, professional James Price has extended his stay at the Horsfield for another campaign, and the South African all-rounder will be looking to add to his haul of 718 runs and 27 wickets in 2018.

“As with every season, we’ll be looking to improve on our performances from the previous campaign,” said Walker.

“The 2018 season was an improvement on results during 2017, so we’ll be looking to continue that trend.

“The new league structure should provide a greater level of competitive cricket each weekend, and looking at results from recent years, it shows that all teams within Division Two have the ability to beat one another.

“I’m certain, come September, things will no doubt be very close in the race for the title.

“We’ve lost a couple of lads from within the first XI squad, with Jhangir Liaqat and Martyn Windle departing.

“These losses are a disappointment, but we will look to within the squad to fill the void.

“Our pro from last year, James Price, returns for another season, and I’m sure, given a year’s experience of the Lancashire League, he’ll be looking to improve on his individual performances.

“However, that said, every player who is part of the first XI squad has the ability to better themselves and improve on their own individual performances too.”

Colne will get their season up and running against Rawtenstall at the Horsfield on Sunday.