2022 YCSPL preview - part III
Posted on 14th April 2022 at 18:32
Overshadowing all else at Millhouses Works is the new pavilion project, that should come to full fruition by the end of May. The first XI has a new captain, Lee Stewart, who is assembling a team that should be capable of challenging for honours in Division 4. Players to watch out for include young off-spinning all-rounder, Elsa Hussain, who is now available all season; stylish bat Pete Chamberlain; and combative all-rounder Will Thomas. The seconds will again be led by Andy Belfield, who has a wealth of youngsters at his disposal from the junior conveyor belt. Watch out for U/13 wicketkeeper Harry Wynn, U/18 quick bowlers Joe Endacott and Ollie Wynn, plus U/15 all-rounder Harvey Amos. Works also hope to field their first woman cricketer in a senior match in 2022.
Norton Woodseats aim to build on a strong second half of the 2021 season and improve on their fifth place in division two. Their main strength has to be their spin attack, in particular Aamir Ashfaque, who was the leading wicket-taker in the division last season and will be pushing for that accolade again in 2022.
The main aim at Oughtibridge is for the first team to bounce back after relegation from the Championship and push for promotion from Division 1. An exciting signing is spin-bowler Arslan Tariq from Caribbean, who was the leading wicket-taker in the YCSPL last season. Other new arrivals are Mazar Sharif, also from Caribbean, and Joel and Lewis Wake from Hollinshead. Last season, the second team blooded some excellent youngsters and the club hope to see more coming through the seconds this season. In 2021 Aden Biddle bowled very well in the seconds without really getting the wickets he deserved, so the club hope he has better luck this year.
An excellent 2021 saw Penistone become comfortable champions of Division 3. The nucleus of the successful side remains, and there is confidence that the team will hold its own in the higher division. Two to watch out for in Division 2 are Connor Smythe, an exciting quick-scoring batter who can win games in no time; and all-rounder Scott Jones, who is still scoring classy runs and delivering quality left arm spin.
Rockingham Colliery had a mixed season in 2021. The first XI achieved a top six place in the Championship; the seconds were relegated from Division 3; the thirds finished third in Division 8 and were one of only three teams to retain their place that division, whilst the newly-formed and nomadic fourth XI finished third from bottom of that division. The latter was still an achievement, though, in that they completed their fixtures and were never in danger of bottom place. The club has been particularly active in the recruitment department, including three arrivals each from Barnsley and Oughtibridge. The first team will hope to challenge in the top half of the Championship and the seconds will be looking for an immediate bounce back from Division 4. Indian right-arm medium pacer Aquib Sheikh Mobin will be the club’s overseas player.
The aim at Rotherham Town is simply to win Division 1 and take another step towards restoring the club at the highest level. A lot will depend on Ijaz Riaz and Waseem Dar, from whom big runs are expected. In what may be a first for the League, Rotherham have signed USA seamer Saad Awan as their overseas player. The seconds will aim to finish well in what looks a competitive Division 5 and to continue to bring through young talent.
After last season’s relegation from Division 7 after an eighth-place finish, Scholes target promotion from Division 8. Skipper Dave Watson will be looking to put a frustrating 2021 behind him and score heavily at the top of the order, whilst his vice-captain Darren Snow, third in the Division 7 batting last season, will again look to hit the bowlers out of the park. Azahat Saleem will again be the kingpin of the attack, looking to reach a personal best after his excellent performances last season.
After two runners-up places in four years in the YSPL, Sheffield Collegiate again finished second, this time to runaway winners Appleby Frodingham, in 2021. There can be no doubt that the target this year will be to go one better and claim the Premier Division title. One major signing to add to last year’s already strong squad is former Hallam batsman Will Hale, who has joined from Bootle. All-rounder Shaaiq Choudhry is very important to Josh Varley’s side, but there is plenty of ability and experience around him to mount a strong challenge. Tom Yarham joins the club, having finished his degree at Sheffield Hallam University, and will add competition in the wicketkeeper/batsman department. The second XI were fourth in the Championship and with the thirds being promoted from Division 2, the club has teams in each of our top three divisions; creating a pathway for the conveyor belt of young talent at the club to progress. Last year, Tate Miller won the junior bowling in both second and third teams, so his progress will be watched with interest. Overall, the club is always keen to develop its young players, and has plenty of talent across the board.
Sheffield United target promotion for first and second XIs from divisions 1 and 6, and will continue to use their third XI as a development side for young players. The performances of leading batsman Mohammed Altaf Khan and bowler Mihindukulasuriya Harsha Perrera will be key to the success of Isuru Jaykody’s side. Another priority at the club is to continue to develop the newly-formed girls’ team.
Eight times winners of the SYSCL, Shiregreen will make their YCSPL Championship debut. They will rely heavily on the nucleus of the talented promotion-winning side of last season. The strength of that side was very much in the bowling, with Mobashar Ilyas Raja, Muhammed Naseem and Abdul Latif all in the top four of the Division I bowling averages last season. They are augmented by Pakistani overseas batsman Muhammad Asif Khan as the overseas player, and new signings Umar Tariq from Treeton and Hamzah Younis from Rockingham. They should have enough strength for a mid-table finish.
South Kirby Colliery finished two places above relegation in Division 1 last year, and their priority will be to compete in the top half of the table. One player to look out for is youngster Adam Rollin.
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