Captain Pickup wants a belated birthday gift

Burnley Cricket Club Versus Ramsbottom Cricket Club.'Burnley's  Chris Burton batting.'2nd May 2015
Burnley Cricket Club Versus Ramsbottom Cricket Club.'Burnley's Chris Burton batting.'2nd May 2015
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Birthday boy Dan Pickup wasn’t given the best of gifts from his Burnley team mates but the Turf Moor skipper is backing his squad to make amends.

Bharat Tripathi’s successor turned 31 on Sunday as the 2015 champions were beaten by four wickets against Lancashire League newcomers Clitheroe in what was effectively the season’s opener.

“It was my birthday on Sunday so the result wasn’t the best of presents,” he said. “It was a bit of a stinker really. I thought we were in a decent spot at the halfway point.

“We put 150 on the board and I thought we were in with a decent shout but we didn’t start too well with the ball and it got away from us. We never really pulled it back and couldn’t do enough in the end.

“It was one to forget, slightly frustrating. There were plenty of positives to take from it though.”

Burnley host Todmorden on Sunday in what will be Pickup’s first league game at Turf Moor as the club’s new captain.

Ahead of the fixture, he said: “We’ve got the character in the squad to get over disappointments like that so there’s no mad panic. They are all fine margins and we should iron it out. It was a tough start because they’ve not lost many games on their own ground. I think a lot of teams will struggle to win there.

“I’m looking forward to it. We’re usually pretty strong at home so I’m looking forward to captaining the team. I did it in the Ron Singleton Trophy but it’ll be my first time in the league.

“It’ll be nice to get that first win as captain at Turf Moor. Once we get that win I’m confident that we’ll kick on.”

Todmorden beat Enfield comprehensively in their first outing at Centre Vale with professional Kelly Smuts breaking a league record with an incredible knock of 211 from just 139 balls faced.

“Their pro had a decent start,” said Pickup. “He got 211 on his debut and broke a league record so hopefully he’s used them all up.

“He’s a good player, he was at Rishton a few years ago and he hit a ton against us at Turf Moor. He’s the one to watch and we need to try and get him out early.”