Rastrick receive boost as key man Birkhead rejects offers to move

Cricket - Rastrick v Hoylandswaine'Robin Lambert bats for Rastrick
Cricket - Rastrick v Hoylandswaine'Robin Lambert bats for Rastrick

Rastrick Cricket Club has been the subject of good news and bad news over the past few weeks.

All-rounder Anil Singh has informed the club that he has had a knee operation and will be ruled out for the majority of the season.

However, their promising Yorkshire Schoolboys U-17 wicketkeeper-batsman Bradley Birkhead has rejected offers to move into the Premier Division of the Huddersfield League and will stay with the club. His younger brother Benji, who is a talented bowler for Yorkshire U15s, also remains at the club.

“Bradley, who scored 564 runs for us last term and also had 31 victims behind the stumps, was being courted by several clubs but right now he feels committed to Rastrick and is currently on a coaching course with Andy Pearson (U-11s coach) and Richard Cook (U-9s),” said former player-secretary John Edge,.

“Bradley is a key figure in the first team and through the the coaching he receives with Yorkshire he also handles the fielding drills ahead of a match and will also have more to give when he has finished this course.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that bowler Karram Hussain, who took 35 wickets last term, will be fit for the start of the season as he has also undergone a knee operation, although not as serious as Singh’s.

“Following the demolition of our practice cage back in late November through a night of strong winds, we have still not got that replaced via insurance.

“With outdoor practice only some six weeks away we are desperate to get that sorted and also find revenue through grant aid and fund raising to purchase a second so we can have two going at once.

“Thanks to great servants of the club, Eddie Jarratt and Charles Squire, we are steadily making secure the western wall of the ground after a sponsor removed his hoardings, and also making provision for a security fence and wall at the scoreboard end.

“Three major sponosrs, Villa Farm at Bradley Bar roundabout, Woods Taxis and Sam Gledhill Joinery have all renewed.”

Indoor net sessions commenced last Friday evening at The Cricket Asylum, Sowerby Bridge, for all age groups. The U-9s to U-17s are from 7-8pm and the open age players are netting from 8-9pm.

Robin Lambert has again been appointed captain of the first team, cricket secretary Simon Farlow is the second team skipper.

Johnny Bamforth takes over the clubs’ third team in the Halifax Sunday LeagueSecond Division from Nick Spence who cannot commit with the work he is doing on his teacher-training course.