Heckmondwike lose derby and Crowther

WHEN THE All Rounder Bradford Premier Cricket League fixtures were drawn up at the start of the season, last week’s Conference clash between Crossbank and Heckmondwike at The Rumbolds looked like a routine derby game. But the day turned out to be anything but routine.

Firstly, Heckmondwike all rounder Paul Cooper was unavailable due to his involvement in a long distance relay from Gretna Green to Roberttown with The Roberttown Road Runners to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Then, early in a game reduced to 33 overs a side after a delayed start, Heckmondwike wicket keeper Matthew Crowther took a blow in the mouth from the ball and had to be rushed to hospital, where he remained until midnight. There proved to be no bone damage to his jaw but his teeth have been wired up in the hope of saving them.

This sparked Crossbank’s decision to offer their opponents a wicket keeper as a replacement fielder but, although this was a very sporting gesture, it did actually contravene the Laws of Cricket.

Bradford League official Alan Birkinshaw acknowledged that Heckmondwike did ‘technically’ break the rules but told The Press: “Given the circumstances it was extremely sporting of Crossbank and we would have to be very mean-minded to take disciplinary action.”

In the Crossbank innings skipper Chris Allen then needed treatment after an outstanding, though unsuccessful, attempt to take a catch in the outfield and, to add insult to injury, the runs added ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

Batting first Crossbank were indebted to James Lord (52 not out) for accumulating a total of 141-7 and, with opening batsman Matthew Crowther absent through injury, 10-man Heckmondwike bravely battled their way from 116-8 to 139 in a ninth-wicket stand between Maqsood Hashmi (25) and Andrew Crowther (15).

At that point Lord once again came to his side’s rescue to dismiss Hashmi and leave Heckmondwike two runs short of Crossbank’s total and no-one left to come in.

Tomorrow (Sat) both sides are back in action with Crossbank at East Leeds and Heckmondwike at home to Wakefield side Azaad. Although Heckmondwike will have Cooper back, hopefully refreshed after his 35-mile contribution to his running club’s fund raiser, it may be a while before Matthew Crowther is back in action.

Share this post