Pre-Season preview 2023 - part II
Posted on 14th April 2023 at 07:47
Fishlake have two new arrivals in Simon Waites and Will Payne, the latter returning to the club, and are still talking to other former and new players in an effort to further to the squad. There have been no departures, and the club look forward to seeing the continued development of young players Harry Smith, Hiren Jeyakanth, Oliver Bull and Will Payne. As always, Fishlake will look to see if any of the seamers in the 1st XI can out-perform the ever-reliable Richard Copley. For 2023, the 1st XI is hoping to press for promotion back to Division 4 after last year’s fifth-placed finish, whilst the 2nd XI looks for an immediate bounce-back to Division 8. A priority is to build on the junior section with another successful All Stars programme, as well as continuing to develop the Women & Girls section.
Parkhead were promoted to Division 2 at the end of last season, and will have very much the same squad available that did so well last year. There are two significant arrivals, in that the club welcome back spinners Parwan Ali and Chris Millard, who are expected to strengthen the attack, particularly mid-innings. Harry Pollard was the club’s top all-rounder last year, and he will hope to replicate last season’s form, and wicketkeeper Louis Marven can be very destructive with the bat in the latter overs. Parkhead have achieved the notable feat of back-to-back promotions, and will simply enjoy the challenge of looking for a hat-trick, whilst enjoying the experience of playing on Premier Section grounds such as Elsecar, Tickhill, Treeton and Wickersley.
Last season, Penistone consolidated their position in Division 2 after their promotion in 2021, whist the 2nd XI gained promotion from Division 6. For 2023, top order batsman Matt Taylor has joined from Alphington CC in the Devon league, after moving into the area, and will significantly bolster the batting. Two to watch are Charlie Armitage, a young top-order batter who, already established as a second team player, is now breaking into the first team and showing the potential to serve it for many years to come; and Will Tyas, already a consistent performer for the 2nd XI as a seam bowler, and now starting to contribute for the 1st XI. The club are fortunate in that they have not had any significant departures. In 2023, the first team will aim to compete at the top end of Division 2 and to consolidate in Division 5.
Rockingham Colliery welcome new arrivals Jory Bannister, who joins from Wath to strengthen the top order batting, and Jordan Hanson, who returns from Thorpe Hesley & High Green to strengthen the attack with his potent spin-bowling. The club continue their Zimbabwean connection as quick bowler Tinashe Muchawaya arrives to join the opening attack. Leaving the club are Jack Riley and Craig and James Wilkes, who rejoin Barnsley Woolley Miners where they started their careers. One to keep an eye on is Lucas Slatter, who will hope to work his way into contention for the 1st XI, whilst Enzo Campagna will undoubtedly work as hard as ever in the 2nd XI. After the 4th XI had to fold due to ground availability issues, competition for places in the 3rd XI will be strong. After their relegation from the Championship last season, expect the 1st XI to be pushing hard for a return at the first time of asking, whilst with Richard Skipworth and Andy Shore providing the experience, the 2nd XI should be pushing for a top half finish. Rockingham are particularly excited about the development of their flourishing Women’s & Girls’ teams and seeing their crop of juniors developing.
Rotherham Town have totally overhauled their first team squad with new skipper Arslan Tariq returning to the club from Oughtibridge WMCC, and Hussnain Hussain, who has arrived from Caribbean Sports with Nasser Rasool, will be vice-captain. The 2nd XI has kept its’ core from the past few seasons and will be once again led by Cam Mclean, who missed the majority of last summer after a shoulder operation. Last year’s 1st XI captain Irfan Mirza leaves the club with its’ good wishes for the future and thanks for his services. Players to look out for are Jawad Saleem, Bilal Hanif and 17-year old wicketkeeper/batter Matt Fidler in the 1st XI. Ryan Oates joins for the second team there are a number of exciting young bowlers coming through the ranks including Harry Beaver, George Tester and Anshal Ahmed. Town have set their sights on a top four finish in Division 1 and a good run in the cup, and hope for a top half finish in Division 5. They look forward to a new beginning, with the sports clubs at Clifton Lane now working together to put the club in a position to invest in both the team and facilities.
It will be an exciting first season for newly-merged club Scholes & Harley, who have teams in divisions 7 and 9. There will be a mix of youth and experience, with youngsters Wilf Bell and Noah Walsh looking to make an impression in their first season of senior cricket. All-rounder Lewis Varley is starting to mature in both departments, whilst George Dixon and Betty Bell began their senior careers strongly last season and will hope to build on that. There have been no significant departures so far, and the club hope hoping to persuade a couple more familiar faces to sign back on for the season. Understandably, the club’s main aim is to development, with expansion of the All Stars & Dynamos programmes a main aim. Overall, it will be interesting to see the benefit from the merger on and off the pitch.
Sprotbrough have brought in Sully Ahmed and Umar Ali from Darfield to boost their squad, following the departures of Alex Rudkin and George Thompson, who have relocated to London, former 1st XI captain Ash Ward, who has started a family in Leeds, and Harvey Thomas, who has joined the RAF. The club expect to give plenty of opportunity to youngsters Will Rudkin and Rocco Cook in the first team; Joe Toole and Nicky Graves in the seconds; and in the 3rd XI there are a host of under 15s, including talented leg spinning all-rounder Eric Brown. Developing junior talent is the main priority for the club, whilst the 1st XI are looking to consolidate on last year's 5th-placed finish in the Championship, and the 2nd and 3rd XIs will be aiming to make the top three in Divisions 3 and 7 respectively.
Lincolnshire batsmen Jack Timby has returned to Sheffield Collegiate from Farsley, and exciting Pakistani left-hand batsmen Abdul Faseeh, who was named in Pakistan's team for the 2022 ICC Under 19s World Cup has signed as the overseas player for 2023. All of the 2022 1st and 2nd XI squad are still available apart from Luke Shutt, who is taking early retirement. As always, Collegiate have a number of talented home-grown players in all their four senior teams across the top six Divisions of the YCSPL. One to watch is 16-year old Louie Owens, who had last year out through injury but is now back on the Yorkshire Academy emerging players programme. Collegiate’s aim to finish as high as possible in each division in which they compete; the 1st XI will undoubtedly be one of the favourites for the Premier division title, and the 3rd XI will be aiming to bounce back after last year’s relegation to Division 2.
As usual, large numbers of postgrad students have joined Sheffield University Staff, many experiencing cricket in the United Kingdom for the first time, including some who will be new to formal hardball cricket. Early indications, based on the winter nets are that there will be more strength in depth than last season, but with the usual surplus of seam-bowling lower-middle order batsmen and gaps elsewhere! Two key players are Chiraag Pandya at the top of the order and Aden Biddle leading the bowling attack, and a lot will depend on their form and fitness. Sabeethan Kanagasingham broke through into the 1st XI at the tail end of 2022 and his classy stroke-play should strengthen the batting. The club enjoyed their first season in the YCSPL last year – the only negative being that they slipped into the relegation spots right at the end of the season. They will hope to bounce straight back. But the priority for the club is to offer as much cricket as possible to staff, postgrads & alumni of the Sheffield Universities and their friends & families – so a successful 2nd XI season in the Y&DCL, and getting people playing Sunday friendlies, is just as important to them, as are their efforts to get a Women's team going. It is the club’s 70th anniversary year, so their annual ‘club day’ match against Firvale will celebrate that landmark. Off the field, the university's plans to upgrade the square in the coming 12-18 months, and tentative plans for the return of cricket nets on campus, would be a big step towards having playing conditions and training facilities that match their magnificent pavilion.
Sussex-born Ant Barnes, a classy left-handed batter and fine slow left arm bowler, is the only new addition to the Stocksbridge squad. There have been no significant departures, but 1st XI opener Ben Cherry is recovering from a shoulder operation and will miss the majority of the season. 1st XI skipper Jack Newton also had a serious knee injury but a good recovery has given him hope that he will be able to lead the team in 2023. Stocksbridge have an excellent junior set-up and a number of juniors that will be both pushing for a place in the 2nd XI this season and developing their cricket. A double-promotion for Stocksbridge last season shows their strength in depth, with a mixture of experience and talented young players, who will want emulate last season and help both teams to be in the frame for further promotions. The club has u9s, u11s, u13s and u15s, as well as All Stars & Dynamos, whilst they hope to be able to field their first ever Women's & Girls team.
Andy Higgins has joined Thorncliffe & Wentworth from Sheffield Civil Service and will strengthen the top order as well as taking over the gloves for the 1st XI. James Parmley and Luke Knowles have both joined the club after a few years out of the game and, having missed the 2022 season due to illness, the club are hopeful that Robbie Phillips will return to regular action after bowling with some good pace in the nets. Middle order batter and wicketkeeper Bavan Selvanayagam has joined Oughtibridge, and three juniors who were on season long loans from Elsecar last have chosen to stay at the Al-Murad Stadium to play in the newly formed 3rd XI. One to watch is Hummad Younis, who joined halfway through last season from Sheffield Civil Service, and is hard-hitting middle order batter. A lot of hard work has been put into the junior section over the last few years by Dan Sykes and his team and their work is starting to bear fruit. 17-year old Charlie Schofield looked comfortable opening the bowling for the 1st XI last year and has continued to develop over the winter, and Callum Pearce (16) won the 2nd XI bowling award on his senior debut season. Whilst the core of both teams will remain unchanged, John Ryan will take over as 2nd XI captain this year. Last year was the club’s first year as Thorncliffe & Wentworth CC, and the 1st XI only started to hit their straps towards the back end of the season; unfortunately, this was too late and they were relegated by one point. Although both sides were relegated the club now looks a lot stronger and more settled, and two promotions are a realistic possibility. The Junior Section is going from strength to strength, with cricket for All Stars, Dynamos, u11s, u13s, u15s and u18s this coming season, and the club hope to run taster sessions for the Women's indoor league this winter. There is a new owner and a new landlord at ‘The Club House’ which is now been renovated to include a restaurant and a well-stocked bar.
Last season’s Premier division runners-up Tickhill have lost their excellent overseas all-rounder Tian Koekemoer, but have brought in Liam Guthrie, a left arm quick bowler from Australia, who played for New Farnley last year, as their overseas. Former Leicestershire batsman Harry Swindells just joined from Saltburn, and Imran Khan from Shiregreen will boost the opening attack. Fast bowling all-rounder Louis Botha is joining as 2nd XI overseas. Unfortunately Dane Schadendorf has left to play closer to his home in Nottingham. Youngsters Ted Ruston, Nathaniel Wilkes and James Eaton tasted 1st team action last season, all did well and the club hope to see more from them in 2023. The club aim to be competitive in all competitions and the 1st XI will aim to go one better and claim their first YCSPL title.
The experienced Chris Cobb is back as captain of Treeton after Sam Drury stepped down at the end of last season. There is only one new arrival, South African all-rounder Onke Nyaku, who arrives at Washfield Lane fresh from a hugely successful 2022 UK season as well as scoring his maiden first-class double hundred. Leaving the club are Liam Johnson to Barnsley Woolley Miners, Matt Lambert to Darfield and Will Cooper to Oughtibridge. Vinnie Ogden will be aiming to repeat his remarkable 2022 season, where he finished as the leading wicket taker in the Premier Division; Sam Drury will be hoping that being free from the captaincy he will be able to take his batting to even more explosive heights this year; the evergreen Stephen Foster will be aiming to prove that his injury hit 2022 season was a ‘one-off’ and return to his usual high standards; and Charlie Bourne has finally shaken off his injury woes and will be raring to go. In the 2nd XI, young Liam Curtis will be looking to kick on from his break-out 2022 season and lead the seam bowling attack as well as push for more first team involvement. As ever, the 1st XI will be aiming to win the Premier Division, whilst it may be a year of consolidation for the 2nds, who will introduce new faces. The club always relishes the battle, and loves to prove people wrong, and this year will be no different.
Wakefield Thornes welcome Shubham Sharma as their overseas player for the 2023 season, Shubham hails from Rajasthan in India where he represents Rajasthan at state level, and he will bring vital control and wickets as well as upper middle order runs in an already strong batting line up. Talented all-rounder Dylan Hurst joins from Sidmouth CC in Devon, and he will provide important runs and wickets, as well as further youth and energy. Greg Wadsworth returns to action after a year’s ‘sabbatical’ and takes over as 1st XI captain, having previous captaincy experience with Shelley CC in the Huddersfield League. Another arrival is opening batsmen & wicketkeeper Nick England from Australia, as an overseas amateur for the 2nd XI. Two club stalwarts, Matt Jordan & Adrian Thompson, are both taking a step back from playing duties to spend more time with family – both will be sorely missed on and off the field. The first team boasts no fewer than five players under the age of 21, including quality spinners Juwad Akhtar and Josh Hen-Boisen, both of whom are also talented batsmen. A lot is also expected of opening batsmen Kieran Donnachie, who scored a top-quality maiden first team ton in the final game of the 2022 season, and hard-hitting middle-order batsmen James Rhodes, who strikes the ball as well as anyone. Jamie Howarth has taken over captaincy of the 2nd XI and will bring renewed energy to the team. Amongst many youngsters, Adam Nasar and Arsh Gupta are proven run-scorers and wicket-takers, and will soon be pushing for opportunities in the 1st XI. The 1st XI have never finished outside the top four since joining the Yorkshire South Premier League, and are expected to be in the mix at the end of the season, as well as challenging for cup honours; whilst the 2nd XI will challenge for promotion from Division 1. Off the field, Thornes welcome Andrew Tipple as 1st XI scorer; ‘Tips’ has already made his mark in raising vital sponsorship funds and has given renewed vitality to off-field activities. As a club, it is the 100th year that cricket has been played at Field Lane, and 50th Anniversary of the founding Wakefield Thornes CC, and there will be a range of events and celebrations to mark these landmarks.
Wath have added numbers and quality across their squad. Michael Bates and Simon Ward have joined from Houghton Main and will add considerable ability and experience to the bowling and batting respectively; opening batsman Sulaiman Hussain has joined from Cumnor CC in Oxfordshire; and the club has recruited a young Tasmanian batsman in Jayden Vince. In addition, Arsalan Khalid has been recruited to bolster the 2nd XI batting. The club has bade farewell to Jory Bannister and Steve Honeyman, whilst a handful of juniors have joined Mexborough to have a chance of playing senior cricket. With the new recruits, added to the likes of James Barnard at the top of the order and the opening attack of Alex Roebuck and Jack Whitlam, the club will target promotion to the Premier Division in 2023. Harrison Roebuck, George Jenkinson and George Seddon, who played a big part in the thirds last season and tasted 2nd XI cricket, are expected to continue their development. After missing out on promotion by one point last season, a strong season is expected from the 2nds. The club are seeing the benefits of a strong junior section, and hope to see it continue to go from strength to strength.
Whiston Parish Church have a new overseas player in Sri Lankan batsman Harsha Rajapaksha, who also bowls slow left arm spin. The club also welcomes wicketkeeper Alex Grange from Worsbrough Bridge; seamer Sam Drabble from Thorpe Hesley; and all-rounder Matt Cope from Clowne. The club has been able to hold on to the majority of their Premier Division squad, and retaining the likes of Joe Norbury, Harry Paver and Kazim Hassan, alongside the experience of Gareth Davis and Danny Kemp, should ensure that they will challenge for an immediate return to the Premier Division. A big priority for the club is to continue to grow the Women's and Girls’ Section and continue to develop their promising juniors from All Stars to under 18s.
Whitley Hall have strengthened their 1st XI with three new arrivals – all-rounder Matt Thompson has joined from Liverpool Premier League side New Brighton; spinner Callum Bethel has re-joined from Hanging Heaton; and top order Anguillan batsman Montcin Hodge, who has 4,500 1st class runs for Leeward Islands will be the overseas player. Jack Myers has returned to the club from Thorpe Hesley & High Green and youngster Alfie Bell has signed from Hollinsend Methodists to strengthen the 2nd XI. The only player missing from last season is Matthew Cartwright who is currently taking a year out teaching in Australia. Amongst several promising youngsters are Bell, leg-spinner Rehan Khan, and all-rounder Charlie Taylor. Whitley Hall target promotion for both 2nd and 3rd teams from divisions 1 and 6 respectively. In an increasingly competitive Premier Division, the Baxter Field men will hope to be competing in the top half of the table.
Wickersley Old Village welcome several new faces to Northfield Road in 2023. Indian batsman Vishvaraj Jadeja joins from Saurashtra, fresh from his Ranji Trophy-winning season. Opening bowler Jake Rogers and opening batsman Ben Simpson have joined from Green Moor, and Luke Roddison has re-joined from Wath. Club legend Darren Pugh has joined Brookhouse, where his experience will be invaluable. Two to watch out for are Charlie Harrison, who has now established himself as a hard hitting all-rounder, and Subhaan Hussain, who joined in the 2022 season and has gone from strength to strength. There is a good core of exciting young players in the 3rd XI, including Alfie Berry, Murrad Ghani and Owen Taylor. The main aim will be for the 1st XI to improve on their 3rd place finish last season and regain Premier Division status; whilst after their Division 2 promotion-winning 2022 season, the 2nd XI will look to consolidate in the higher division; and with its’ mixture of youth and experience the 3rd XI should push for promotion.
Wombwell Main will continue building on the close-knit squad following 1st & 2nd team promotions last season and are fortunate to have had no significant departures from their squad. New faces include Adam Carnall, an exciting young fast bowler and explosive batter, who has joined from Rockingham Colliery; Tom James, a talented off-spinning all-rounder, who is getting back into the game; and Jon Holden, a tricky swing bowler and hard-hitting batter, who has come through the ranks. Young wicketkeeper/batter Jack Tinker is a hot prospect and will play a big part; Henry Skelton will look to continue his excellent form from 2022, and the talented Matty Shaw intends to deliver big in 2023. Back-to-back promotions are the goal for the senior teams; whilst the club aim for continued development and expansion of their flourishing junior section, the All Stars & Dynamos; and look forward to the launch of their Women's team, which is a huge step improving access to the game in Wombwell & the surrounding area.
Worsbrough Bridge have no new arrivals but will get a big boost by welcoming Mark Wilkinson back from injury and Liam Hague making his return from a season away. There is only one departure; as keeper Alex Grange goes to Whiston Parish Church to try his hand in the Championship. Two young players who had great seasons in 2022 were first team spinner Callum Bentley, who won the bowling averages for the club and the junior bowling averages for the league, and opening bowler James Kennedy, who had a great season with the ball and bat with the 1st XI. In 2023, the 1st XI will be looking to continue their great form in the second half of last season and have their eyes set on a top-three finish in Division 3, whilst the second team should have more than enough experience and quality to gain promotion from Division 8. All in all, these are exciting times at Park Road, as the club goes from strength to strength on and off the field.
With thanks to all those who responded to Andrew Tipple's call for informastion on Facebook
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