Burnley captain Bharat Tripathi is hoping to achieve something that’s never been done in his lifetime - adorn the Turf Moor trophy cabinet with the Worsley Cup.
Captained by Roland Harrison, Burnley last scooped that particular piece of domestic silverware in 1984 as the skipper inspired his side to a 49-run triumph over Colne at the Horsfield.
Now, ahead of Sunday’s tie with Bacup at Lanehead, the 23-year-old is determined to have a similar influence 29 years on. The closest they came to the title most recently was in 2006 as they lost by seven wickets to Nelson on home soil with New Zealand pro Craig McMillan smashing an unbeaten 99 for the visitors.
Tripathi, who is hopeful of adding brothers David and Michael Brown to the cup squad, said: “It’s a massive game on Sunday in the first round of the Worsley Cup. They’ve got some really dangerous players and their pro (Aubrey Swanepoel) is talented. His name was thrown in the hat to join us a few seasons ago so he’s certainly respected.
“We were in the final in 2006 and we’ve been done by their pro. We’ve been in two semi-finals recently as well and just fallen short. We lost to Accrington in 2008 and Ramsbottom a couple of years ago. We’ve been so close it’s agonising. The cup is massively important to us. There’s something special about the cup and it’s mouth watering with it being a home tie.”
But first up Tripathi is demanding a response from the defeat to Accrington as they travel to Bentgate to take on Haslingden tomorrow.
“It’s always a good game against Haslingden,” Tripathi said. “There are no easy games in this league. We approach every game in a similar manner. They’ve got their pro (Brenton Parchment) now who we’ve played against before so we know he’s a very capable all-rounder. They’ve got Graham Knowles who is probably the league’s best amateur batsman and Phil Hayes has returned as well. It will be a tough game.”
Elsewhere in the Fosters Lancashire Cricket League, champions Lowerhouse will be hoping to bounce back from a four-wicket defeat to Ramsbottom when they travel to Bacup tomorrow. And the reigning Worsley Cup holders will begin the defence of their crown against Enfield at Liverpool Road on Sunday, start 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, Read will be hoping for better fortune after a washout cost them top spot in the Ribblesdale Cricket League while they were dumped out of the Ramsbottom Cup by virtue of a bowl out.
An ‘unsafe’ surface at Brooksbottom, which prevented play on Saturday, married with Clitheroe’s win over Padiham now sees Kyle O’Connor’s side sat in second, just two points behind the leaders. Then insult was added to injury when Euxton were the beneficiaries of a bowl out success.
O’Connor, whose side face Oswaldtwistle Immanuel at Whalley Road tomorrow, said: “It wasn’t the best weekend for us. The ground at Brooksbottom was deemed unsafe which resulted in the cancellation. The weather on the day was fine though. It was frustrating because both captains had agreed to play but the umpires wouldn’t allow us to.
“We queried the result with the league but we’ve been told that the result stands. We feel as though we’ve been stitched up a bit because now the field at Brooksbottom has been said to be unfit for the next month.”
He added: “We tried to reduce the cup game down as much as possible but at the end both captains agreed on a bowl out with only one person hitting.
“It’s probably the fairest way to decide a result with it being as close to a penalty shootout as possible. It’s annoying but you can’t do anything about the weather in England.”
Padiham advanced to the next stage of the cup after finishing on the right end of a bowl out to Cherry Tree, but their torrid start to the league campaign was magnified with defeat to Clitheroe. Callum Clarke’s men will look to get back on track away at Euxton tomorrow.