Fast-rising Scholes Cricket Club are ready to broaden their horizons next summer.
The ambitious club marched straight up the JCT600 Bradford Cricket League Division Two after a successful 2015 campaign and will for 2016 be in the Bradford Premier Division which has merged with the Central Yorkshire Cricket League.
Cricket chairman Graeme Smith said: “We had a fantastic season and with the results came the crowds and we have had a great response from the local area with bums on seats and supporting the team.”
In this new division, Scholes will welcome and, of course, travel to the likes of Woodlands, Pudsey St Lawrence and Pudsey Congs, Cleckheaton and Hanging Heaton to mention but a few.
Former Huddersfield Town and Halifax Town centre-half James Stansfield will be remaining as the first-team captain and they have also signed Irfan Amjad a batsman that has come from Skelmanthorpe who are in the Drakes Huddersfield League.
Also on board are Matt Garside, a wicketkeeper from Spen Victoria, and opening bowler James Harding from Stokesley, near Middlesborough, who play in the North Yorkshire and South Durham League Premier League.
“We will be confirming a new overseas player from Pakistan within the next few weeks as well as our overseas player from the 2015 season has now returned home,” added Graeme.
A couple of players have left the club, Liam Thomas, a wicketkeeper has gone to Gomersal and Toby Thorpe, an opening batsman, has gone to Undercliffe, but everyone else who won promotion in the club’s first season in the league has been retained.
Neil Kellet will remain as the second-team captain.
For 2016 the club has joined forces with the ‘Chance to Shine Initiative’ and coaches from the club will go into local primary schools.
The club has also entered a development team in the Mid- Yorkshire Sunday League.
“We will play a young team and hopefully develop players for the future of the club,” added Graeme.
Meanwhile, Brighouse CC have confirmed Howarth Timber as a premier sponsor for their 2016 Bradford Cricket League season with a further premier sponsor in the wings hoping to confirm shortly.
Cricket club secretary Peter Bradley said: “This season we want all our first and second teams to have a new match ball per game and to that end we opened up a “pledge” scheme for supporters to pledge to sponsor one or two balls (1x £26 – 2 x £50) and to date we have 19 balls pledged. Our target of 55 is within reach for the start in April.
“Our playing staff are committed for next season. We are in discussions with additional players to strengthen both the current squads.
“We continue to look to improve our facilities in conjunction with the main sports club adding ground equipment to benefit all our playing surfaces. The all-weather plastic pitch will again host “Last Man Stands” games with teams drawn from local players; this with our Annual Workshop Competition will enable a wide breath of cricket at the club.
“Cricket chairman Neil Goldsborough is optimistic in the development of cricket which, with the changes to the league structure, makes for an interesting season ahead.”