Bob Schofield, winner of the league’s coveted Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy last year, is wanting to open a new area of debate by selecting a team made up of the best players he faced in the Central Yorkshire League.
Bob enjoyed a long and successful playing career as an opening batsman with Ossett and believes the team he has selected would be a match for anyone.
He said: “There have been some very fine players over who haven’t made my side, and I have opted to name two overseas players as there was no limitation when I first started playing.
“I can remember the Altofts side that won the league title and Yorkshire Council Play-Offs in 1981 had four, three New Zealanders Ronnie Hart, Lindsay Crocker and Alan Hunt, plus a young Australian fast bowler called Dean Jones who was later to become a Test batting star.”
BOB SCHOFIELD’S CYCL SELECT
1 Tony Sutton (Altofts, Morley & Wrenthorpe)
He was on Yorkshire’s radar early in his career and played for their second team. Tony was a stylish and reliable opening batsman who you needed to dismiss early otherwise he would make you pay.
2 Mick Varley (Ossett)
Mick was an extremely reliable batsman who reads the game well and could adapt to any situation. He had an exceptionally good record in cup finals and was definitely somebody who could produce their best form on the big occasion. In his youth he was also a left-arm opening bowler.
3 Chandrakant Pandit (Batley)
He was only 16 when he joined Batley and he soon captured the attention with his stylish batting. What a talent, and he was also a good enough keeper to eventually play Test cricket for India.
4 John Woodford (Liversedge)
The Yorkshire batsman gave good value at league level. He was a good player and was someone who was always prepared to share his experience and knowledge with others.
5 Ronnie Hudson (Hanging Heaton)
We were always glad at Ossett to see the back of Ronnie. He was a devastating batsman who could hit the ball many a mile and could turn a game in just a couple of overs. What a player to have on your side.
6 Alan Hunt (Altofts)
Top left. Darren Mason scorer. Alan Hunt (NZ), Lindsay Crocker (NZ) , Ted Walmsley, Andy Clinton, Tommy Mason, Steve Wolfenden. Front: Ronnie Hart (NZ), Dean Jones (Aus), Terry Greaves (capt), Clive Jackson, Ian Frost
Perhaps the least heralded of Altofts four overseas players in 1981, Alan Hunt was the one who impressed me most. He was an elegant batsman who produced consistent performances. He won the league batting averages with an aggregate of 753 runs at 68.45, despite the start of the season being delayed by snow.
7 Russell Heritage (Gomersal, Captain)
There is no doubt in my mind that he was the right man to captain my side. He read the game extremely well and knew how to get the best from his players. Russell was an extremely elegant batsman and was an outstanding left-arm spinner who was devilishly difficult to get away.
8 Paul Blakeley (Birstall)
A great all-rounder who played Minor County cricket for Shropshire and I feel he could have made his mark in the county game. It was a measure of how good a cricketer he is, that even when he started to lose his pace as a seam bowler, he didn’t lose any of his effectiveness as a bowler. He could make the ball talk
9 David Smith (Birstall, wkt)
David Smith is pictured extreme left with Bingley's 1979 Priestley Cup winning team
He came into the CYCL from Bingley and he soon caught the eye with his neat glove work. One of his great strengths was his ability to stand up to the quick bowlers
10 Harry Atkinson (Ossett & Hanging Heaton)
He was a huge influence on my career and I am so glad that he was on my side. He believed that having the right attitude was critical if you wanted to be successful. Harry was so consistent and was always posing questions for the batsmen. He bowled a nagging length which saw many a batsman having to fend deliveries away from their ribs. There was no relief for them as half volleys were as rare as snow in the Sahara.
11 David Battye (Batley, Gomersal, Batley, Chickenley, Morley, Birstall, Wrenthorpe, East Ardsley, Scholes, Wakefield St Michael’s East Ardsley)
He has taken over 2,144 league and cup wickets in his 50-year career and is still aiming to bolster that figure despite being in his sixties. His great strength has been his accuracy and ability to nibble the ball around off the seam. I know he keeps details of all his performances, most of us would struggle just keeping count of all his clubs.