Rain stops play before start of new season

Photo Neil Cross
Read CC v Whalley CC
Kyle O'Connor caught
Photo Neil Cross Read CC v Whalley CC Kyle O'Connor caught

The start of the Ribblesdale Cricket League season has been delayed, due to the poor weather.

The league was scheduled to get underway today, but the Senior League fixtures for the weekend will now be replayed at a later date.

Captain Kyle O’Connor is hoping that Read will give a better account of themselves in the cup competitions this year after failing to make much of an impression last term.

The Whalley Road outfit did feature in the semi-final stage of the Twenty20 competition, where they were beaten by Great Harwood, but struggled to make an impact in either the LCB Knockout Cup or the Ramsbottom Cup.

Read were dumped out by Bradshaw CC at the first hurdle in the county competition, and could only muster a second round showing in the Ramsbottom Cup as they lost to eventual finalists Settle.

This season, skipper O’Connor will guide his men out against In Time CC and Clitheroe in the aforementioned knockout competitions, and they’ll share Group Three of the Twenty20 competition with Barnoldswick, Earby and Padiham.

“We will be aiming for a top four finish again in the league, and we’ll be looking to push on in the cups as we’ve had a few disappointing years in those competitions.

“The lads are another year older and looking in great shape, and I expect them to want it more and believe in themselves more this season.”

Read have drafted in Indian slow left arm spin bowler Ravi Jangid for the forthcoming campaign. Mohammed Zafran has returned to the club, though Omar Hussain has swapped Whalley Road for Church Meadow.

Padiham will be looking to go one better after falling just short in their promotion bid.

The club fell 48 runs shy of Cherry Tree at Preston Old Road in the play-off final, and will therefore compete again in Section B.

Padiham haven’t added to their ranks, but Owen Deakin-Pickard has returned to the Lancashire League with Lowerhouse.

Callum Clarke, who has handed the captaincy over to Kurt Robinson for the new season, said: “We’re looking forward to the new season. It’s been a long winter after falling just short in our promotion bid. We’re looking forward to putting that right.

“Kurt has taken over from myself after three years at the helm and I think he will do a great job. He’s an experienced cricketer for his age and I think the extra responsibility will bring out the best in him.”