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Season starts on Saturday July 25th!!

The Bradford League has issued the following statement:

The Plan

1 All Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League first and second team league competitions are cancelled.
2 The Priestley Cup, Jack Hampshire Cup and Priestley Shield competitions are cancelled.
3 The 2020 season will start on Saturday, July 25 and will conclude on the weekend of September 19-20 as originally planned.
4 Now that competitive cricket is possible it is proposed to organise league cup competitions for all first and second team divisions played on Saturdays.

For first teams there will be a minimum of eight games.
Each Division will be split into two regional groups of six with each team playing five games. Points will be awarded as in league games except in the case of the tie where the team losing least wickets will be awarded the win.
In the second round the top two from each group will form Pool 1 and will play three more matches.
Teams finishing third and fourth in the first round groups will form Pool 2 (Playing for positions 5-8th)
Teams finishing fifth and sixth in the first round groups will form Pool 3 (Playing for positions 9-12)
The top two teams in Pool 1 will contest the final

For second teams
Each Division will be split into two regional groups and if all teams compete this will offer a guaranteed six games to everybody. Points will be awarded as in league games except in the case of the tie where the team losing least wickets will be awarded the win.
The top two teams in each divisional group will go forward to the knockout semi-finals.
The remaining teams will play off for the minor places ie 3rd Group A v 3rd Group B, 4th Group A v 4th Group B, 4th Group A v 5th Group B, 6th Group A v 6th Group B.
All matches will be 40 overs per side.
There will be no Sunday or Bank Holiday cricket

5 The Gordon Rigg Group A and Group B T20 Cup competitions will be played on Sundays. Teams will be allocated to regional groups once the full entry is confirmed. There will be knockout quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.

There will be gaps left in the Sunday fixture list to allow clubs to dedicate days to the promotion of junior cricket.

Meanwhile, Saturday July 11th sees an ECB audit at Cleck' that is an in-depth look at the ground and facilities with Chairman Ian Gatenby and groundsman Keith Johnstone in attendance and both men are confident that the Club meets the necessary strict criteria.

Cleck's Craig Fletcher isn't the only one that's delighted cricket is back!

Progress in fund-raising

Although things remain unclear surrounding the rules in terms of how many guests will be allowed in to the function room in future - the Cricket Section is thinking ahead.

The traditional Annual Dinner is in the diary for Friday March 5th 2021 in the hope that by then things should be ‘back to normal.’

Manchester based comedian Austin Knight is booked as is the fabulous MC/Auctioneer John Collier with someone different joining them - as opposed to the usual kind of speaker.

Impressionist Kevin Connelly has agreed to join the gentlemen named above to provide what is sure to be a night filled with laughter.

Kevin has appeared on Dead Ringers that was a popular TV programme and he's made a great deal more TV appearances besides - and he promises to go down a storm!

Austin last appeared at Cleck’ on behalf of the Cricket Section six years ago and whilst he’s a familiar face on the circuit, he’s tried and trusted and very funny!

In the past the Club has had some great speakers, quite a few average ones and one or two flops but Kevin is the type of act that alongside Austin and John will have guests 'splitting their sides.'

Kevin Connelly is a brilliant impressionist and comedian

In addition, the function room is booked for a Charity evening on Friday October 23rd, which will depend on how things develop before a comedian is selected but the hope is to have a DJ and a buffet also and there’ll be no charge just simply donations towards two children’s charities.

**It should be acknowledged that on Friday July 31st at Cleckheaton Golf Club there’s a ‘golf day’ organised by Skipper Mally Nicholson on behalf of the Cricket Section.

Mally alongside assistance from so many has ‘sold out’ in terms of allocation for what should prove to be a successful day - as it was last year.

Such events are paramount to the Club’s survival – and thanks must go to Mally and all of the participants**

Cleckheaton Golf Club is a fabulous venue for the Cricket Section's 'golf day event'

‘Proud of his roots’ Robbo’ reminisces

For well over two decades Mark Robinson has followed his son Joe’s fortunes at Cleck’ as well as supporting the Club off-the-field.

Mark preferred to remain independent of the Club’s cricket committee but his input has been enormous from assisting at the gate, working on the ground at Moorend at tea intervals and with fund-raising - and much more besides.

He is the proud brother-in-law of Cleck’s former player and Cricket Chairman Dave Worrall and anyone that knows Robbo’ appreciates his decency in helping others but soon realises also his sometimes ‘off-the-wall humour’ that is a big part of his makeup that can leave those on the boundary edge in stitches!

Mark paints a graphic picture of his time at Cleck’ and of how his memories of the Club as well as his birthplace come flooding back:

“Ever since I can remember I had a bat in my hand that’s not because I was mad crazy about cricket, but I was born on Holmewood and you needed a bat just to get to the shops and back!

My love for cricket started when I got introduced to my future Brother in law by my sister Sandra, Dave Whizzer Worrall also known as Tony Sideburns, apparently back in the 1970’s they were fashionable.

He used to take me to watch him play football and cricket and quickly became my hero, and still is.

Robbo' has the utmost respect for his brother-in-law Dave Worrall

I started watching him play at Laisterdyke and then went on to Windhill, where I spent three years scoring and got £15 a game big money in them days, when we had a double weekend, I needed a Securicor van going round Holmewood with that kind of money!!

It’s at Windhill where I made my Bradford League debut against a very useful Salts team.

It was half way through the first innings when some wimp decided to fall ill and Dave asked if I would come on and field for the rest of the innings

So there I was in borrowed whites which had belonged to Big Jeff, 23 stone and 5ft 3”, looked well on me 6ft and 10.5 stone remember I was 15 year old, finished off with a pair of black pumps, I looked a treat, but there began the legend of Billy black pumps!!!

Anyone that knows Mark will tell you the 'trainers' seen above may well be in better condition than those he normally wears!!

So, I thought Dave would give me an easy shout fielding down at square extra midwicket long off, I swear to this day I haven’t got a clue what positions are what, disgraceful I know.

Any way he puts me in what I found out to be later the Covers no problems apart from the bloke who’s batting is the future England cricketer Richard Illingworth who likes nothing else but a good old cover drive.

Have you ever tried to stop a cricket ball travelling at 95 mph with your feet in a pair of Black pumps??

I have loved watching cricket at Cleckheaton and things only got better when my son Joe decided he fancied donning his whites at the age of nine and go and play down at Moorend and since then Joe’s been a one club man apart from a brief spell at Scholes.

It was one of those freak things when suddenly a group of youngsters who can all play a bit and have a similar attitude, bond and come together

Mark and his son Joe pictured in the foreground at Lord's in 2016

Joe played alongside some exceptional youngsters who have gone on to play a good standard of cricket at adult level, the likes of Marcus and Eddie Walmsley, Fahid and Shahid Rehman, Matty West, Lukey Patel, Nick Lindley and Chris Stott. The twins were exceptional both in talent and attitude, but there was a really good squad with the likes of Trappo, Adam Fearnley, Joe Bray, Sean Howe all playing their part at some stage.

Marcus Senior ran the team and I think it’s fair to say Marcus had a proper approach to the game , it wasn’t about participating, it was about winning and they did plenty of that, they were the most competitive bunch of lads I’d come across, which was great, if they were on top don’t ease up, just press that advantage home.

Many a time we would have eight slips and sledging the number 11, some might say it wasn’t in the spirit of the game at under 12/13’s but that’s just how competitive they were.

Marcus was superb with all the kids and ensured they enjoyed it, but as we say, you enjoy it a lot more when you’re winning.

They won most things in front of them often playing two finals in a day, Marcus was the master of squad rotation, especially when the end of season always clashed with the start of the Football season.

Joe progressed with the rest of the lads up until open age and then he went off to Cricket college at 16, playing at Scholes gave him a lot of confidence and a lot of  credit must go down to Matty Baxter who put a lot of faith in Joe, which was a big thing to do as a young captain.

When Joe returned to Cleck he was playing second team until Craig Thornton decided to leave part way through the season and then he was drafted in to play for the firsts.

He kept his place for the rest of the season and deservedly so taking some great catches and occupying an end when he needed to. He started the following year in the firsts and that was the year Cleckheaton won the league and Joe earned his place and as you can imagine how proud I was of him to be winning a Bradford League Championship medal, indeed it was a double celebration for me with my Whizzer achieving his ultimate aim with the club as cricket chairman and all the more sweeter because it was at our local rivals Woodlands .

Mark's son Joe seen on the back row second from left of the players in the Championship side of 2014

The next year Cleck set their stall out to repeat the previous year achievements and that’s exactly what they did, another outstanding year, another Championship

Joe’s now played at Cleckheaton for 20 years on and off and I can’t believe where that time has gone, but great times and met some great people, with the news that local Cricket can start again soon I look forward to getting to the odd game once I can come out of shielding.”

Over the years Mark and Joe have embraced some fabulous sporting moments that has included a few trips to Wembley witnessing many high-profile occasions. In addition Mark has invited others to join him - but even though he's enjoyed top-notch facilities around the country his roots are set firmly in Holmewood and Cleck'!

The two Robbo's at Wembley alongside a senior excecutive from Sky and a 'hanger on'!!

Visit also www.cleckheatoncricketclub.com

Bob Speight has made sure that for many years there are updated facts, figures and some brilliant photographs and history surrounding Cleckheaton CC.

Secretary Antony Lee has very kindly taken over Bob's role and his details are as follows;

Home address;

Holme Bank, Stunsteads Road, Cleckheaton BD19 3DA

Mobile; 07837136744

e-mail; secretarycleckcc@gmail.com

Antony Lee is Cleck's dedicated Secretary

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