BIRSTALL CC, having narrowly escaped relegation in 2013, secured a safe mid-table position in the Central Yorkshire League Premier Division last summer and are hopeful of further progress this coming season.
The CYL website has a countdown to the season clock on its home page, showing just 29 days this morning (Fri), and the enthusiasm is mounting as players continue the annual merry-go-round of transfers.
Birstall have parted company with former Huddersfield Town footballer Danny Broadbent, who has moved to Methley, but secretary Ian Haley is excited about his club’s new acquisitions.
“We have one of our former juniors returning to us in Jaymish Patel, a right-arm fast bowler from Castleford, and Wasim Nazir from Hanging Heaton,” said Haley.
The Hanging Heaton/Birstall connection has long been established in respect of player movement, not least with Hanging Heaton’s 1,000 Bradford League wicket taker John Carruthers who began at Leeds Road and made a brief return to lead them to the CYL title a few years back.
But Nazir is not the only signing from the Bennett Lane club for the 2015 season, as he is joined by off-spinner Umar Rehman who last year won the Bradford League Second Xl bowling prize with 52 wickets at under 10 runs apiece.
“I coached Umar as a nine-year-old and he was a good little player back then,” enthused Haley.
Birstall have had problems bowling sides out at times, and this has seriously hampered their chances of success on the league front, but if the batting can maintain some consistency, and an Australian player due to arrive soon on a student visa pays off, the prospects are good for an encouraging summer ahead.