Burnley captain Bharat won’t dwell on historic season

Burnley captain Bharat Tripathi and wicket-keeper Chris Burton appeal in vain for a lbw decision in the game against Lowerhouse.
Burnley captain Bharat Tripathi and wicket-keeper Chris Burton appeal in vain for a lbw decision in the game against Lowerhouse.

Turf Moor skipper Bharat Tripathi believes Burnley’s biggest challenge will be to avoid drawing comparisons to last year’s historic campaign.

While that success was phenomenal, with Burnley becoming the first club in the Lancashire League’s 123-year history to claim four pieces of silverware, the 26-year-old claims it may prove to be an anomaly.

“When you’ve set standards so high, people are always going to pick up on any moment when you fall short,” said Tripathi after Burnley conceded the Ron Singleton Colne Trophy to Enfield.

“If we draw comparisons to last year, it makes it almost impossible to meet your own expectations, which becomes a big challenge.

“The biggest test is to go into the new season without thinking about our achievements last season.

“It’s the first time something like that has been done in more than 120 years of the Lancashire League. It’s an impressive feat, but if we keep drawing on that, then we’ve already fallen short after losing out on a trophy.”

He added: “We need to earn the right to win trophies again and we’ve got about 40 games of cricket to play to do that.

“It’s a cliche, but we’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s how we were so successful last year. We’ve got to face what’s in front of us.”

The champions, who added the Worlsey Cup and Twenty20 trophy to their impressive haul, begin the campaign against Bacup at Lanehead on Sunday.

“It’s a tough game,” said the younger Tripathi sibling. “It’s a difficult place to go because the conditions aren’t great or conducive to enjoyable cricket.

“We want to win every single game of cricket and win everything that’s on offer again but that’s the ambition of every other team in the league as well.”

Elsewhere, 2014 champions Lowerhouse entertain East Lancs at Liverpool Road on the opening day of the new term.

The West Enders have endured a winter of change, losing Declan and Fergus Bailey to Ribblesdale Cricket League outfit Whalley, while Matt Walker has joined Bradford and Bingley and will represent Cumberland in the minor counties.

Jonny Whitehead has also parted company with the club having been unveiled as the new professional at Woodbank, while Scott Hope and Corey Hope have been forced to retire.

However, Ben Heap and Joe Hawke have rejoined ahead of the new season, alongside Owen Deakin-Pickard, pace bowler Jordan Page has been recruited from Ramsbottom, Adam Hugill has also joined the ranks, and South African Dieter Klein has signed as the club’s paid man.

Chairman Stan Heaton said: “Despite the weather, the players are eagerly awaiting the new season. Whilst we have lost some players, we have gained others, and have a strong squad.

“The new professional Dieter Klein is a cracking lad with a great pedigree, and this has enthused us too.

“The younger players in the first team and the second team have a year’s experience behind them.”