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Umpire David Ratcliffe's Select XI

Umpire David Ratcliffe's Select XI

David Ratcliffe has been a Bradford League umpire since 1990 and has seen many fine players during that time.

From the best seat in the house he has watched closely the players who have made the headlines with their eye-catching performances.

Ratcliffe, who host BCB's Sunday Morning Bradford Premier League review, has selected a team which represents the best players he has seen while officiating.

He reckons they would be a match for anyone and has even selected two umpires who would be worthy of handling any big match.


1. Dermot McGrath (East Bierley)

 A solid opener who could amass runs or simply just stay there and frustrate the bowlers. He captained East Bierley to a hat-trick of Priestley Cup wins.

2. Russell Evans (Windhill & Farsley)

He was a;left-hand bat who had a wonderful range of shots on either side of the pitch. Long stride and got to the ball with ease. Went on to play County Cricket with Nottinghamshire and later joined the panel of umpires in First Class cricket.

3.Richard Gould (East Bierley, Gomersal & Keighley)

A much unde- rated batsman who could drive the ball on either the leg side or off side and the timing just made the ball rush to the boundary. Tended to walk across in front of his stumps at times and was prone to be LBW if he missed the ball (he rarely did!) Excellent slip fielder.

4. Bradley Parker (East Bierley, Undercliffe, Yorkshire Bank, Gomersal, Pudsey Congs, Wrenthorpe)

A county standard batsman through and through. Solid right hander and good close fielder; his County knowledge brought experience to the team.

5 Matthew Doidge (Pudsey Congs & Farsley, Captain)

Who else to pick as captain after leading his club to five successive league titles. He knew the game inside out and how to win a game. He would move the batting order, bowling order and field positions to suit the situation. Very good left hand bat in defence or attack and useful slow left arm bowler.

6. Andrew Bairstow (Pudsey Congs & East Bierley, wicketkeeper)

Very safe hands behind the wicket and strong left-hand bat who could hit the ball for fun; also strong in defence.

7. John Marshall (Yorkshire Bank, Baildon)

The best off spin bowler I ever had the pleasure of umpiring. He could land the ball on a sixpence time and time again and kept the batsman tied up and the umpire on his toes.

8. Sarfraz Ahmed (Woodlands)

Brilliant left arm opening bowler; very quick and always tied the batsmen up. Bowled with a smile on his face and never queried an umpire's decision. Big hitting batsman who took sixes and fours as food and drink.

9. Mark Bray (Baildon & Pudsey Congs)

Not the quickest of opening bowlers. but accuracy was his key. He bowled his heart out and usually got a good result without the batting team getting many runs off him. Steady RH bat who could hold his end up.

10. Mushtaq Ahmed (Lidget Green, Baildon)

There has to be another spinner in the team and Mushy is my choice. Over 1,000 league wickets, his left arm spin had the batsmen guessing all the time. Every delivery was different but he knew what to expect with every ball. Never argued with umpires, sometimes looked dejected, but just got on with the next ball.

11. John Carruthers (Hanging Heaton)

At his peak he was one of the quickest and most accurate right arm opening bowlers in the league. His wicket toll and commitment to the game and his club are a credit to him.

So that is the team. The lower batting order may be changed on the day depending on the match situation; captain Matthew Doidge would decide.

If you want two umpires to go into a game with this team; Andrew Bullock  (above) and Alan Carter (below); both had 2nd X1 County experience and worked together as team. All the players respected them

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