New skipper has big shoes to fill

Daniel Pickup

Daniel Pickup

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New Burnley captain Dan Pickup has hailed his predecessor Bharat Tripathi for overseeing the most successful spell in the club’s history.

The 30-year-old, who has spent the winter in Melbourne, Australia, representing Williamstown CYMS, understands that he has big shoes to fill at Turf Moor following a trophy-laden spell in the Lancashire League.

Tripathi restored the club’s reputation as one of the major forces of local cricket during his tenure, winning a league title, an unprecedented four consecutive Worsley Cups and a Twenty20 triumph.

Burnley also cleaned up in 2015, winning every domestic piece of silverware available in the league, and the club reached its furthest point in the LCB Knockout Trophy last term when competing in a semi-final against Denton West CC.

“Bharat is probably the most successful captain we’ve ever had at the club in terms of silverware so they are big shoes to fill,” said the new skipper. “We’re good mates and we get on well so I’m sure he will give me a hand if I need it.

“He’s done it for four-and-a-half years and he just felt that the time was right to step down. I’m sure we will get the best out of him as a player now because it’ll take some of the pressure off him.

“In terms of winning trophies, the club has moved forward heaps. We won the Worsley Cup for the first time in decades in his first season, and have since won it four times on the bounce. Our success in cup cricket has been unbelievable.

“We’ve kicked on massively. What we achieved in 2015 was unprecedented and probably won’t ever happen again. He’s got to take a lot of credit for that.”

The squad at Turf Moor has been in transition during the off-season with record run scorer Vishal Tripathi signing for Liverpool League side Bootle while Mick Midwood has also left.

Lancashire Under 19s representative Matt Roberts has made the move from Oswaldtwistle Immanuel and he has been joined by Read’s Joey Marshall and Enfield’s Liam Bedford.

Ahead of Sunday’s opener at home to Bacup, Pickup said: “There’s been a bit of movement but we’re still expecting to be strong. We’ve still got a talented squad and we’ve probably got even more depth now.

“We want to compete in every format and it would be some achievement if we can defend our Worsley Cup crown again.

“It’s going to be a good, competitive season with the new league format and the new clubs involved. It’s exciting.”

With the ever-improving Chris Holt staying on as the club’s professional for the season, Pickup added: “He’s been superb for us. He’s getting stronger year on year. He’s improved so much. It was a no brainer to wrap him up for another season.”