David Batty and Mike Fearnley are first and third on the all-time wicket-taking list
Fiourteen players have taken more than 1,000 wickets in first team cricket. Top of the pile is David Batty who took 1,823 wickets in a career which saw him play for Lidget Green, Bingley, Bradford & Bingley, Keighley and Esholt.
The wily spinner’s two sons, Jeremy (Yorkshire & Somerset) and Gareth (Worcester, Surrey and England) have both enjoyed successful careers.
The only players on the list who are currently playing are Baildion's Mushtaq Ahmed, Bankfoot’s Greg Colehan and Hanging Heaton’s John Carruthers.
THE TOP 14
1,823 David Batty (Lidget Green, Bingley, Bradford & Bingley, Keighley, Esholt)
The leg spinner enjoyed a stellar Bradford League career between 1960 and 1999. A fierce competitor, Batty was a great man to have on your side. His tally of 1,823 wickets is testament to both his skill and his longevity. It is unlikely that his tally of wickets will ever be beaten now that bowlers are restricted to a maximum of 15 overs per game. Batty’s youngest son is the Surrey and England spinner Gareth. His eldest son Jeremy also played county cricket for Yorkshire and Somerset.
Career average 15.51 Seasons played: 1960-1999
1,538 David Jay (Lidget Green, Manningham Mills, East Bierley, Brighouse)
The left-arm spinner enjoyed considerable success during a career which saw him serve four different clubs. He made his Bradford League bow with Lidget Green in 1972 and played until 2006 after a spell with Brighouse.
Career average 17.75 Seasons played: 1972-2006
1324 Mike Fearnley (Farsley, Bradford, Farsley, Bingley, Farsley)
The late Mike Fearnley wasn’t the quickest of seam bowlers but he was one of the most economical and skilful. His 1,324 wickets came at an impressive average of 13.98 and he was both a formidable foe and
a much-loved cricketer whose untimely death was a cause of great sadness to the league community.
Career average 13.98. Seasons played: 1954-1979
1229 John Marshall (Yorkshire Bank, Baildon)
The off spinner first burst onto the Bradford League scene with Yorkshire Bank and quickly established a reputation as a consistent wicket taker. After moving to Baildon he became a key ,member of the Jenny Lane side's attack..
Career average: 14.99 Seasons played: 1976-2001
1192 Peter Graham (Yorkshire Bank, Spen Victoria, Pudsey St Lawrence, Yeadon, Bradford & Bingley)
Peter Graham was admired throughout the league as both a fine opening bowler and a great sportsman. He was both penetrative and economical with the new ball.
Career average: 17.70 Seasons played: 1977-2001
1167 Paul Topp (Keighley, Baildon, East Bierley, Manningham Mills, Pudsey Congs)
Gained a reputation as a probing and economical opening bowler who enjoyed a particularly successful spell with East Bierley in the early eighties.
Career average: 16.29 Seasons played: 1968-1990
1161 Percy Watson (Salts, Spen Victoria)
The opening bowler had a deadly inswinger and was formidable with the new ball. Took the ;league's best-ever figures of 10-11 against Yeadon in 1962. His career average of 13.97 is the lowest of all the bowlers taking 1,000 wickets.
Career average: 13.97 Seasons played: 1947-1970
1139 Dennis Bateson (Yeadon, Saltaire, East Bierley, Windhill Yeadon)
The combative all-rounder is the only player in the history of the Bradford League to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets. His figures underline his effectiveness as both a seam bowler and a batsman.
Career average: 14.11 Seasons played: 1943-1979
1049 Malcolm Naylor (Bowling Old Lane, Laisterdyke, Queensbury)
The pace bowler was considered to be one of the quickest on the league scene in his pomp. He was particularly impressive and influential during his time with Bowling Old Lane.
Career average: 16.55 Seasons played: 1963-1988
1036 Richard McCarthy (Bradford & Bingley)
The only man to have taken all his wickets for one club. He arrived at Wagon Lane as a young Australia bowler and quickly terrorised batsmen with his raw pace. In his later years he cut his pace and still picked up big hauls of wickets with his ability to move the ball off the seam.
Career average: 15.47 Seasons played: 1990-2015
1033 Phil Taylor (Laisterdyke, East Bierley,Manningham Mills, Pudsey Congs, Great Horton, East Bierley)
A canny cricketer and respected captain who started out as a medium pacer before turning to spin in the later stages of his career.
Career average: 17.05 Seasons played: 1966-1999
1033 Greg Colehan (Salts, Windhill, Bradford & Bingley, Idle, Bankfoot)
A whole-hearted seam bowler who has given good service to all his clubs. Was still playing first team cricket in 2017 and could climb higher on the list of all-time top bowlers. Particularly effective on pitches responsive to seam bowling.
Career average: 22.04 Seasons played: 1987-2019
1,014 Mushtaq Ahmed (Baildon)
The left-arm spinner reached the landmark on June 29, 2019 in his 21st season. After taking 82 wickets in his debut season for Lidget Green, he was snapped up by Baildon and has played there ever since.
Career average: 14.16 Seasons played: 2000-2019
1014 John Carruthers (Spen Victoria, Hanging Heaton)
In his pomp he was a handful for all the league's top batsmen with his pace. His performances earned him selection for the England Amateur XI. Now cricket chairman of Hanging Heaton, he continues to play for his club's second team.
Career average: 19.52 Seasons played: 1992-2019