This week saw some significant announcements from the government in the easing of lockdown and some welcome news to us all.
On Thursday they announced that as of today, we can now meet friends and family outside in groups of six as well as the announcement on Saturday that specifically outlined their backing for competitive outdoor sports to resume. The listed sports included Cricket which was welcome news to us all.
However, don’t go get your cricket bag out of the loft just yet. The 6six-person rule is going to restrict any possibility of full matches to be played just yet, however this is a significant leap forward and I think confirms that we might see some Bradford Premier League cricket this summer.
My guess will be August to give clubs a chance to get their facilities ready to cope with the restrictions and social distancing guidelines that will still be upon us in some capacity at that time.
They do however allow teams and coaches to hold sessions and net practice in groups up to 6 (including any coaches).
We do still need to be careful around ensuring facilities are safe and that the two metres rule can be followed at all times.
The game I have selected from the archives today is from 2009 when Farsley visited Jenny Lane to take on Baildon on the 8th August.
Baildon went on to lift the Division One title that year and East Bierley triumphed over Farsley in the final of the Priestley Cup.
I spent two great years at Farsley, made some friends for life in that team that I still see all the time today.
The teams lined up as follows:
Baildon: T Bhatti, H Smallwood, I Philliskirk (Cilla), A Butt, N Ashraf, J Reynolds, D Wilson, R Todd, M Webb, A Walker, C Hitchenor, M Ahmed, B Kinsey (The paper had them with 13 players for some reason, I can’t work out which were wrong).
Farsley: G Phillips, H Ryatt, L Ingram, S Rashid, B Frankland, J Lee, H Anderson, J Greaves, C Henry, R Thornton, R Lumb.
I don’t think anyone before that season would have said they had the quality to topple Woodlands or keep Bradford & Bingley at bay.
I don’t mean any disrespect to this Baildon side, Tabbi Bhatti, Ahsan Butt, Ian Philliskirk , Craig Hitchenor and Mushtaq Ahmed are all fantastic players in the league, with a young Jonny Reynolds who we all know is a great player now.
I think you must applaud the job that Ian Philliskirk did as captain and the season that Andrew Walker, above, had. I think Andrew really completed that side, I had never seen him before 2009 and I remember facing him at Farsley and thinking “geez, this guy doesn’t bowl a bad ball” he just whacked away at a length all day.
One of the great things about sport is that winning can become a habit and once you get into the habit of winning, its tough to shake it off, Baildon certainly showed that in 2009 and etched their names in history off the back of it.
We bowled first and Baildon got off to a good start only losing Tabbi Bhatti (1) early off the bowling of Chris Henry, before moving the score to 82 before Harry Smallwood departed for 34. Ian Philliskirk (44) fell a couple of balls later with the score on 84, however Ashan Butt (59*) and Nahim Ashraf (27) rebuilt and took the score to 148 before the fourth wicket fell.
At this point I remember thinking we could be chasing 260 plus here which with Baildon’s bowling attack would be a tough ask.
However, Farsley rallied and managed to knock over the tail, taking the last four wickets for just 13 runs to leave Baildon 195 all out, and crucially giving Farsley four extra overs to chase the score.
I had managed to knock over the tail and rescue my figures to 4-48, Lorenzo Ingram got the crucial wickets of Smallwood and Ashraf and claimed 4-39 and Chris Henry removed Cilla (Ian Philliskirk) on his way to 2-22.
Farsley started ok with Gareth Phillips (18) and Harpal Singh Ryatt (19) playing positively before Farsley began to lose wickets at regular intervals with Shabir Rashid (16) and Barrie Frankland (16) before a middle order wobble.
I made a solitary run before Mushy, above, got me, again! Him and Nawaz Sardar are the two bowlers I have encountered so far in my career that always got me out, no matter how hard I tried, they just did.
But what a fantastic servant to the league Mushy has been, a wonderfully nice guy, that bowls big turning left arm spin and one of the finest arm balls around. To continue to perform at such a high level for so long really is a fantastic achievement and his 1,000 BCL wickets are thoroughly deserved.
Farsley collapsed from 129-4 to 144-7, however fortunately our overseas, Lorenzo Ingram was still at the crease. Lorenzo was a fantastic overseas, typical West Indian flair with the bat, made big scores, electric in the field and bowled tidy left arm spin. It was a real shame when the visa rules changed, and it prohibited him from coming back.
We still needed 53 to win, were staring down the barrel, time was rapidly running out as well. We had just about crossed into the extra overs given to us by Baildon, before Lorenzo just exploded, he seemed to hit every ball of the next over to the fence taking us to 169 before he was caught on the edge for 69 off Walker making the score 169-8.
Chris Henry tried to get in on the act next ball and was caught for 0 and the score now 169-9, Chris was stand in captain that day, all I can say is he was lucky with what happened next, because it was a shocking shot from the skipper.
Rob Thornton was a legend, he and I got on well, he was my drinking buddy for sure during my time at Farsley, I don’t even think he realised how funny he was.
He could hold a bat and tie up an end batting at 10 or 11 and often won us games doing that, I used to love batting with him, he is one of only two players I have ever met that will sledge the fielders and bowler when batting, it was hilarious (the other being Bryan Telfer).
When it came to needing to score runs and play a few shots, that was often Rob’s downfall, however not on this day, Rob Thornton and Ryan Lumb managed to swipe their way to 13* apiece to see us over the line with two balls of the 54 overs remaining. A hard-fought win against the eventual winners of the league that season.