Major season ahead

Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU'Oliver  Hannon-Dalby who took three wickets flies in
Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU'Oliver Hannon-Dalby who took three wickets flies in

This weekend sees the start of the JCT 600 Bradford League campaign and officials at Wakefield Road are hopeful of a big season.

There is a vibrant air of optimism around Lightcliffe Cricket Club.

The first team entertain Bradford and Bingley (wickets pitched 1pm) and a bumper crowd is expected.

New skipper Chris Taylor has sold the dream and three new signings are hopeful of heading to the Promised Land.

Dave Hester has made the pilgrimage from Pudsey St Lawrence and will bat at four.

Joining him is Oliver Robinson, who has made the journey from Kent. He will bat and bowl and comes highly regarded.

Former Yorkshire Seamer Oliver Hannon-Dalby is also on board when commitments with Warwickshire allow.

He will certainly have opening batsmen on their toes.

At 6ft 8 ins he will utilise the bounce in groundsman Rod Heyhoe’s belters.

Skipper Taylor is delighted to be welcoming back Sully Khan for another campaign.

“He lands the night before, but I am sure he will get a good night’s sleep and be ready for action,” said the club spokesman and second team skipper Michael Brooke.

The final piece in the signings jigsaw is pace ace Rasool who has joined from Yeadon.

“He is a consistent 40 wickets a season man”, said Taylor.

“The team is hopeful of going one better than last year’s second and lifting the trophy. “We hope to get off to a flyer, but have a tough first few games.”

The second team start their Division One season at Woodlands, with a strong squad to choose from.

Seraj Hussain has left to join Bowling Old Lane, and veterans Richard Tesseyman and Greig Godfrey will not be available every game.

However, there should be plenty of runs coming from the likes of Rhys Jowett, Richard Thompson, Liam Collins, Matty Taylor and Michael Brooke.

The bowling will be spearheaded by Tom Lightcliffe, James Godden and hopefully Evan Edwards. Seasoned campaigners Roger Stead, Mark Whiley and Chris Hester will be on hand to support.

Promising spinner Dan Ahmed will bowl plenty of overs and Chrissy Dyer has confirmed he will be staying in 2013.

Vice captain Rhys Jowett said: “We have a well balanced team and hopefully we can keep a fairly settled squad over the season.

“It’s great news about Chris Dyer staying.

“We have kept him in the loop over the winter and he confirmed he was staying on Sunday evening after a pint in the Tannery Inn.

“It’s a tricky little start at Woodlands, but we have the players to put in a big performance and get us off to a flyer.”

Third team skipper Bruce Lunn has promised a “vibrant brand of classical cricket” on summer Sundays.

He will be supported by ageing pros Steve Hartley, Kev Booth and Colin Saunders.

Bruce said: “It’s a daunting challenge but also an exciting one. We have a good mixture of youth and experience and should be competitive.

Anyone interested in coming to play at Wakefield Road can go down to training on a Tuesday evening from 6.30pm.