Aire-Wharfe Cricket League prospects

Wharfedale Observer: David Pennett has moved from Guiseley to Ilkley David Pennett has moved from Guiseley to Ilkley

ADDINGHAM: The club are hoping to enjoy better fortunes in Division Three following the return of Henry Barrow from Ben Rhydding along with the signings of Tom Smallwood from East Bierley and Ben Brearley from Olicanian. Once again the batting will be spearheaded by Ricky Palacio who had a magnificent 2013 campaign and skipper JH Johnson once his rugby commitments with Ilkley come to an end.

BEN RHYDDING: Alex Miller took over the captaincy for the final nine games of last season and continues in the role as his side look to maintain the progress they have made since winning promotion two years ago. The loss of Australian all-rounder Jason Wright to Burley is a big blow but they have high hopes that Western Australian Brad Ranford will make an impact in his debut season Rob Withers has joined the club to strengthen the bowling.

BURLEY IN WHARFEDALE: After marking his first season as captain with a Waddilove Cup triumph, skipper Charlie Davy will be hungry for more success. The return of Jason Wright, a key figure in the club’s 2010 double success makes Burley potential title contenders. The club has a fine crop of young players with Harry Brook, Daniel Revis and Matthew Revis being three to watch. All made their senior debuts last season and showed they have real ability and a will to succeed.

GREEN LANE: The 2013 campaign was a big disappointment so Green Lane have been busy recruiting in the winter months. Their new overseas player is Australian all-rounder Jack Wood from their sister club Mitcham in Melbourne. Wood is joined in the squad by fellow newcomers Waleed Akhtar, a hard-hitting batsman from Bradford League club Saltaire, the experienced Chris Spivey (Windhill), all-rounders Azhar Mahmood (Dacre Banks) and Jake Tarquin Agar (Burnt Yates) who have arrived from the Nidderdale League and Adam Perring from Guiseley GUISELEY: It’s all change at for 2014 as last year’s captain, Alex Bell, and Callum Fraser now live and work in London. David Pennett has left after seven years for a new challenge at Ilkley and the outstanding overseas player Tallan Wright has sustained a stress back fracture and is unable to return. Top-class seamer Nasir Jamal from Thackley and all-rounder, Ben Burkill, from Harden will be joined in the side by South African top order batter, Brian Jackson and Mike Truswell from Burley.

HORSFORTH: After narrowly missing out on promotion in 2013 Horsforth and are keen not to suffer a repeat. Oliver Hardaker returns to the club from Collingham while Ryan Sharrocks and Michael Lambert add strength to the team. Leon Harber will skipper the first team and will be hoping to repeat the successes he had while at Thackley.

HORSFORTH HALL PARK: South African Bevan Williams is Hall Park’s new overseas player while Darren Holmes has moved to Rodley and Dan Smith has joined Old Modernians.

ILKLEY: Harry Nielsen, son of former Australia coach Tim, proved himself a fine wicketkeeper/batsman last season and returns boosted by a successful winter in South Australia as Ilkley return to the top flight after 20 years. The acquisition of David Pennett from Guiseley will give the first team much-needed experience playing at this level.

MENSTON: Aussie Travis Rio will be looking to make his mark in a side that will be led by Gareth Lee following Ryan Robinson's work-related move to Ireland. New signings Shahid Bashir and Imran Mirza from Calverley will strengthen the squad, which will also look to continue to develop younger players such as Sam Boyden and Adam Montague-Millar.

OLICANIAN: Dave Britton will lead an Olicanian side which has a stronger look to it after the recruitment of Dylan Budge from Horsforth, Sohaib Syed Hashmi (Ossett), Sajjad ljaz (Great Horton), Javeed Ahmed (East Keswick) and Lee Jackson (Steeton). The new season sees the first team continue in Division Three where they hope to improve on the mid table finish of last season.

OTLEY: James Davies has replaced Matthew O’Grady as the first team captain and he leads a team boosted by the arrival of Jamie Pickering from Castleford. James Wilcock remains as the club’s overseas player.

POOL IN WHARFEDALE: The club is aiming for a much-improved season in 2014 in the top flight and Sam Wilkinson returns from Australia to captain a side which has been considerable strengthened. Aussie opening bowler and middle order batsmen Jacob Rodgers joins the club from first grade cricket in Perth and he will feature in a line-up that now includes Spen Victoria batsmen Tosh Baker and slow left armer and middle order batsmen Ben Platt. Baker has first class cricket experience with Yorkshire and Northants, whilst Platt has played at Minor County level with Shropshire. Promising left-hand batsmen Zarak Khan joins from Manningham Mills.

RAWDON: Andrew Doidge will lead the newly-promoted club who have looked to strengthen in the close season. Ben Heritage, the former captain of Bradford League club Undercliffe, all rounder Shane Franklin who has previous Aire Wharfe experience with New Rover and Calverley and Chris Gill a batsman from Nidderdale League side Darley have been recruited. The overseas player will be Conor McInerney a batsman and spin bowler from Adelaide. The club are hoping that young players such as George Myers, Josh Hobson and Nathan Goldthorp will continue the improvement they showed in 2013.

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