Richmondshire Cricket Club hoping for successful season

The 2024 North Yorkshire South Durham (NYSD) cricket season was due to start tomorrow but for the second season running the start has been put back a week.

It comes as no surprise when almost constant rain has left grounds sodden and made work on preparation impossible.

After finishing second in the Premier League and reaching the semi-finals of the National Club Cup the first team hope to go one better this year. After last season’s disappointment of his move being blocked at the last minute by the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Shafiqullah Ghafari will return as club professional, hoping to repeat his outstanding 2022 season with 100 wickets and 424 runs.

The club are also delighted to have retained Gary Pratt (ex-Durham & Cumbria) to open the batting and Dan Hodgson (ex-Yorkshire) behind the stumps. Brandon Glover (Durham & Netherlands) will again be available when not required by Durham,

New to the club is Caleb Bradford, who joins the club from Longridge in the Northern Premier League. Caleb, a slow left-arm spinner, with 67 wickets last season, moved to university in Leeds and is keen to play for a leading club side.

Bob Carr will again captain the team which again includes Mike Layfield, Sam Wood, Josh Dowson and Harvey Websdale. Matty Price returns from a winter playing in Australia and an outstanding group of juniors will hope to compete for places. The three Percival brothers Alex, Jake and Max, plus Joe White, Raam Raj, Isaac Bottomley and Bertie Morris will be hoping to build on a very promising  2023 season.

The 2nds suffered relegation to the 2nd division after a difficult season but under the captaincy of Jamie Stead hope to bounce straight back. They will have the experience of Brad Elsworth, Tom Stockton, Sam Winter, Vital Ra, Shaun Charlton and Jordan Moss to guide the emerging juniors.

The 3rd team will hope to retain the Sunday Premier League title they won in 2023 under captaincy of John Clark, with a side mainly made up of junior players. The 4th team having consolidated their place in the NYSD 3rd division after promotion in 2022 will hope for further progress under the captaincy of Griff Bewell.

Raam Raj, Isaac Bottomley, Jack Platt, James Cox and Will Fudali from the juniors all showed real promise last season and will no doubt be looking to progress to the higher teams this season.

John Bewell captains the 5th team and a long with Junior chairman Mike White will no doubt be guiding a new crop of juniors in their first steps in senior cricket for the 5th team.

As important as any of the player signings is that of a groundsman in the shape of Phil Dicks who was previously groundsman at Gateshead Fell. A former Minor County player and analyst for Durham he will bring a wide cricketing experience. He has been working tirelessly in face of almost constant rain to get the ground ready for the start of the season.

The 1st team play New Farnley in a friendly at home on Saturday 20th  April 12:00, with the first league fixture now a home game against Darlington RA on Saturday 27th 12.30 start. Let’s hope we will be watching cricket in the sunshine!

The club doesn’t make any charge for watching their games but you can support the club by taking out a supporter membership, £15 for the season at https://membermojo.co.uk/richmondshirecc