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These are exciting times indeed, both on and off the field for England’s oldest “village” cricket league.
The Nidderdale Cricket League, which was formed in 1894, has more than 100 teams playing every week in 9 divisions, has teamed up with Masham-based brewery T&R Theakston Ltd for a five year sponsorship deal. Nidderdale Cricket League
President Sir Thomas Ingilby said:
We are delighted to have secured such a well-known and respected company as Theakston’s to be our first ever main league sponsor. The Nidderdale Cricket League is going from strength to strength and is recognised as being one of the biggest ‘village’ leagues in the country. We are also the oldest village league in the world and one of the most forward looking. Cricket is not the preserve of men; we have several very good lady players playing in our league and several girls’ teams and female players playing in the junior indoor league.
T&R Theakston Ltd Executive Director Simon Theakston said:
We are very pleased indeed to have our name associated with the Nidderdale League and to add our support to what is a brilliantly run and supported institution. We already sponsor a number of local clubs and it’s wonderful that we will now have the chance to get to know other teams in the league. We are very proud of our Yorkshire provenance and nothing is more Yorkshire than the Nidderdale Cricket League, it’s a perfect match! The Nidderdale Cricket League has been in existence nearly as long as we have and I hope both organisations will continue to flourish for many years to come!
Last time out, Ouseburn were victorious in Division One seeing off all comers assisted by over 900 runs from Olie Uffindall and a prolific bowling attack of Sam Dale (37 wickets), Jamie Bryant (34 wickets) and Chris Morrison (38). Uffindall has left the club and Morrison takes over the captaincy. Newly promoted Spofforth, in only their second season in the Nidderdale League, will no doubt look to challenge for honours. The clubs meet on 5th May at Ouseburn. Masham and Birstwith were relegated from Division One and will look to bounce back this season. They will face challenges from Knareborough Forest now under the captaincy of Craig Robson, and newly promoted Raskelf and Bolton Abbey.
Player transfers are still arriving but highlights include the return of Andy Gott to Darley, who also takes over as Captain, Liam Ford moves from Follifoot to Burton Leonard and league legend Paul Ainsley moves to Kirkby Malzeard from Sharow. Goldsborough have gone on a recruitment drive and see the arrival of 4 new faces. Father and son Jake and Richard Agar join from Blubberhouses as does Robert Lowe. Duncan Morrell follows them from Scotton.
The 2011 season Aussie “run machine” David Kelly returns to Newby Hall to build on an impressive 1400 runs. Ben Nethersole joins Spofforth and Joshua Wooley joins Dacre Banks. Nicholas Jones and Jordan Lovell have been recruited from Australia by Knareborough Forest and Darley respectively.
There is a change to three of the League’s cup competitions which will change to a Twenty20 format with a finals day on July 22nd at Knaresborough Forest Cricket Club. This year’s Ingilby Shield fixture which is contested by the League’s Representative team and a team of Nidderdale Overseas players, will be held at Pateley Bridge Cricket Club on Sunday July 8th. The final of the league’s premier cup competition, the Atkinson Swires Senior Knockout, will be contested on Sunday 6th August at Sudley Royal.
The opening matches of the 2012 Theakston Nidderdale Cricket League season begin at 2pm on Saturday, April 21.