There’s no ‘I’ in team for Bleazard

Chris Bleazard for Lowerhouse Cricket club in their game against Church
Chris Bleazard for Lowerhouse Cricket club in their game against Church

Lowerhouse stalwart Chris Bleazard played down his latest Lancashire League milestone when modestly suggesting that the club’s fortunes take precedence.

The prolific batsman, who will soon hit his half-century in age, surpassed the 16,000 run mark for the West Enders in victory over defending champions Ramsbottom at Liverpool Road.

The club’s highest scorer of all time, who featured in the three title triumphs and two Worsley Cup wins, exceeded the six runs required when finishing unbeaten on 13 to help ‘House over the line.

“It is what it is really,” he said. “When you’ve played as long as I have you naturally push further. I was really pleased to make 15,000 runs and anything else that came after that was a bonus.

“I needed six runs in the game against Ramsbottom to reach the milestone and we just about got it with a two.

“There were only two overs left so we were pushing. We had to keep going and at that point it was more about the team than anything else.

“Personal targets are fairly muted at the moment. It’s all about how I can help the team do well and trying to pass my experience on to the 
youngsters at the club. I want to try and help Ben (Heap) make the team stronger.” The new skipper, Bleazard’s nephew, has made an impressive start to his tenure with the armband. Heap top-scored with 69 runs when opening the batting to help build a strong platform.

Ahead of Sunday’s game against Colne at the Horsfield, Bleazard said: “I just do my best to contribute to the team. We’ve got a decent side this year and I’m confident that we can have a good run at winning the league.

“We’ve certainly got one of the strongest sides on paper but that doesn’t guarantee you success. You’ve got to gel as a team.

“We’ve had sides in the past that have looked strong on paper but haven’t done as well as other sides. I think we’ll be up there though. We’ve got to be targeting the top three.”

He added: “I’m delighted for Ben. He’s really settled in to it and he’s had a fantastic start himself. The family is really making its mark on the club at the moment. Everything is looking okay on the cricket front.

“Getting that first win on the board as quickly as possible is always important, especially when it comes against opposition like Ramsbottom. It indicates that we’re on the right track.

“We’ll have tough games all throughout the season though so we need to make sure that we gel together and perform as a team and as a set of really talented individuals.”