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Transfers: All the moves as they happen
Club histories
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016 22:16
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EAST LEEDS
 
by Reg Nelson

 

 

East Leeds Cricket Club was founded in 1900 by the local Conservative Association under the guise of East Ward Cricket and Athletic Club. Home matches were played in the bank area of Richmond Hill.

Initially, the club competed in the Leeds South League before moving into the newly formed Leeds League on its formation in 1923.

The club’s name was renamed East Leeds Cricket & Athletic Club and shortly afterwards moved to its present ground on Pontefract Lane in the mid-1920s.

They would become a founder member of the Leeds & District Cricket League in 1939. East Leeds were a dominant force in the pre-war period as a top flight club winning three title wins and two Hepworth Cups.

Harry Close, (father of future Yorkshire, Somerset and England captain Brian) kept wicket during this period and for three years, the club benefitted from the services of former county cricketer Horace Fisher.

Fisher played fifty two games for Yorkshire between 1928 and 1936 as a slow left arm bowler taking 93 wickets at 28.18. He briefly challenged Hedley Verity for Wilfred Rhodes's vacated berth, but was soon overshadowed, and played only when Verity was on Test duties.

He was notable as the first bowler to ever claim a hat trick of LBW victims in the course of taking 5 for 12 against Somerset at Sheffield in August 1932. In the same match, Fisher posted his highest ever first-class score in Yorkshire's only innings, an unbeaten 76, as Yorkshire ran out winners by an innings and 93. Earlier that week Fisher took six wickets for 11 runs, against Leicestershire at Bradford, which remained his best bowling return.

Whilst East Leeds never recaptured the height of their pre-war success, the club remained successful in terms of title wins in the lower 2nd division, and Second Team successes in both league and cup.

The most significant event during this period occurred in 1950 when the club became a founder member of the Leeds Junior Cricket League. East Leeds could now breed their very own players and success in junior competition increased their reputation as a club.

Following the demise of the Leeds & District League, East Leeds joined the more senior Central Yorkshire League in 1999. Starting in Division 2, the club gained promotion in to Division 1 in 2003.

The club struggled to reach premier league status, but remained competitive and established in Division 1 cricket.
In 2006 Alan Olbison figured high in the league bowling averages with 47 league wickets t 12.36.

By 2010 it was clear that progress had stagnated as they just about held their head above water under the captaincy of Zarid Tarvaz. That year Allan Olbison had an outstanding season with the ball taking 44 wickets at 16.52, with a divisional best analysis of 8-50.

Things got worse in 2011 with 15 losses in the league and little to celebrate except for Jeffrey Naish’s 614 runs at 36.12. Ravi Manajan (400 runs) showed consistency with the bat for the second successive season.

There was a marked improvement in 2012 with 8 league wins under captain James Watling. Olbison had another profitable season taking 34 wickets at 12.71 with a season’s best of 9-40.   He also scored 250 runs for an average of 35.71.

Progress continued in 2013 when 10 league wins reflected their best season for a number of years. A promising season from junior Ben Quirk resulted in him scoring 410 runs at 27.33, while Zarid Tarvaz was the chief wicket-taker with 33.

In 2014 East Leeds struggled in the newly named 1st Division Championship, and found themselves in the third sphere in 2015 (1st Division).

A solid performance in 2014 from Kirti Tandel which saw him score 359 runs at 27.62, and take 25 wickets, along with Shamon Mushtaq’s 411 run at 31.62, was the individual highlights of the closing years.

In what would turn out to be the last season in the Central Yorkshire League the club ended their reign on a positive note in a promotion position. Ironically, the promotion was in name only after major league restructures saw the club placed in the Bradford League Conference.

East Leeds made an inauspicious start to their Conference League career finishing ninth after recording seven wins.
James Watling, the captain, led by example proving to be their most consistent player with 336 league runs with the bat, and 31 wickets at 16.65. Olbison was again the leading bowler with 47 wickets at 13.60.

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