TODMORDEN Cricket Club has silverware on its mind as it prepares for its 175th anniversary season.
The club opens its Lancashire League fixtures on Sunday April 22 at Ramsbottom.
“Over the last three seasons we have finished in the top four in the league each season and gone far in all the cup competitions without bringing home any silverware.
“This year we will be looking to improve on last year’s performances as we have Qaiser Abbas back in the ranks as professional from Pakistan and everyone at the club is looking forward to his arrival and getting him back on the pitch at Centre Vale,” said captain Andrew Sutcliffe.
Pre-season nets have gone well at The Cricket Asylum in Sowerby Bridge and friendly matches will continue at the weekend.
“We have had a couple of changes to the first team squad and I think we have got a well balanced side that is good enough to beat last year’s achievements,” said Sutcliffe.
This year is a special one for Todmorden Cricket Club. It is the 175th anniversary and every involved with the club is hoping for a successful year on and off the field. The club is welcoming everybody from the town to sample the delights of the cricket club and get behind the teams and create a real club and community spirit to celebrate the anniversary.
This year Todmorden has signed Elliot Gilford, Joe Hanson and Kristian Garland from Walsden.
All three have been ever present at the pre-season friendlies and Sutcliffe is expecting some big contributions from them all this year and he has no doubt that they will fit into the squad with ease.
Among key contributors again this year will be Qaiser Abbas who will be looking to score a 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets this year.
Simon Newbitt and Ben Sutcliffe will again open the batting.
“They will be looking to hit the ground running and prove to everyone again why they are regarded as the league’s best opening partnership,” said Sutcliffe.
“The responsibility is on everybody to contribute and improve their game and take the opportunities given to them this year and if that happens then I am confident on improving on last year’s standings,” he said.
Lee Pearson is captaining the second team this year and Gareth Rudderforth is taking charge of the third team.
A lot of emphasis this year will be on the young players who attended the club’s winter cricket academy and they will be given the opportunity to prove that they are good cricketers and capable of playing responsibly in the first team.
“Everybody likes to see young local cricketers come through the ranks and hopefully this year with the opportunity they will be given they will be staking a claim for first team places for years to come,” said Sutcliffe.