This winter has been one of rebuilding for our first team, whilst at the same time looking to remain competitive in an increasingly tight Championship One. We saw last year with the relegation of Lightcliffe, that no team can ever be complacent over their status in the league. The club have made 4 new signings, who are mainly untried at this level, but have shown a real desire to push their cricketing abilities further.
Aakash Dutta is an Indian student at Leeds University and joins as this season’s overseas player. Aakash comes to us after enjoying a hugely successful season in 2021 at Nostell St Oswalds in the Pontefract league, where he took 65 wickets and scored 440 runs. Aakash has been a regular at our indoor nets and looks set to become a popular member of our club.
Joel Newlove joins us from our near neighbors' up the road, Guiseley, for his first taste of Bradford League cricket. Joel is someone we have had our eye on for some time and he appeared a couple of times for our Sunday team last season. Joel is a batting allrounder and we have it on good authority that he’s an excellent fielder.
Umar Zahoor joins from Bowling Old Lane, for his debut in first team cricket. Umar is a lively opening bowler and should bring some pace to our bowling attack, adding an edge to our array of medium pacers!
Usman Shakir joins from Bankfoot, after winning promotion to the Premier League last season. Usman has a wealth of Bradford League experience and will be an important player for the team as a lower middle order batter and off spin bowler.
Going the other way out of the club, are Simon Bailey who has rejoined Keighley, Jack Hainsworth (who whilst remaining registered is not planning on playing more than a handful of games) and Ben Howell and Joel Fothergill who have both returned to Oxenhope. We wish Simon, Ben and Joel well and we can all say that Simon will be sorely missed – one of the most competitive cricketers in the Bradford League who gave his all for our club during his almost ten seasons at Jenny Lane. Hopefully he will have an off day when he returns to the club in Keighley colours!
The second team have not needed to make any new signings. With considerable strength in depth across our third and fourth teams (including our junior production line!) there is an ever increasing level of competition for places. To make sure this continues, we have worked very hard in the off season to continue to renovate the square and facilities at our second ground. Andy Norton and Dave Hodgson have strived to produce a wicket that is fitting for our younger players to learn how to play senior cricket upon.
Pre Season Friendlies
We have two pre-season friendlies arranged, taking place on the 9th and 10th of April, both at Jenny Lane.
Saturday 9th April sees the first team take on Knaresborough. Hopefully this will provide ample opportunities for Dwayne to take a look at his new players and a chance for the team to impress against a strong Knaresborough side.
Sunday 10th April sees a mixed side take on Martham CC from the Norfolk area. Martham are coming on a pre season tour and have links to the club in the form of Louie Stronach, who was a popular team member in his brief stay with us. We have it on good authority that they are bringing 25 players up to the club, so it should make for a good day before the season starts.
After their title winning campaign last season, the Sunday team are back for 2022. Led by Simon McDermott in 2021, our Sunday XI gave us an excellent opportunity to blood young players into senior cricket and to also give the odd game to players who struggled for a place in our Saturday teams. Simon will continue to lead the team this year. All support for home games will be appreciated.
Since the end of the 2021 season, a number of key improvement projects have been completed. Our scorebox at Jenny Lane has a completely new facia, with new technology alongside a brand new floor inside – hopefully this will be of great benefit to all. At our second ground Belmont (Sandals!), we have installed a rain water capture system to allow us to have a ready supply of water on hand to water our square. This should make a massive difference (if we have a hot summer!) to our wicket in the second half of the season.
After two seasons away, teas will be back for 2022. As we all know we have struggled for volunteers over the last few years to provide teas for us. Fortunately this year we have spoken with the new Bar Manager Danny and he will arranging teas for the coming season. To enable us to provide these at an affordable level will require players to buy these on a regular basis. To help facilitate this, these will be included as part of the match fee for 2022. This is the format for our first and second teams, the situation regarding teas in the Dales Council appears to be flexible so please look out for messages from your skipper! There is also talk of arranging hot food to be available after our Tuesday night training sessions – watch this space!
Amidst a general waning in numbers of youngsters playing club cricket, we are very fortunate that our numbers continue to grow from strength to strength. So much so, our Allstars programme (introduction to cricket for 5-8 year olds) has been oversubscribed for the past 3 years. We will continue to run junior teams for under 18’s, under 15’s, under 13’s, under 11’s and under 9’s in 2022. Training will again take place on Friday nights at Jenny Lane from 6pm. Weather allowing, the first training session will be on Friday 22nd of April. Please feel free to join us and enjoy what must be the best beer garden in Baildon whilst your children train in a fun, safe and friendly environment.
Supporting Your Club
One of the easiest ways that players and supporters can support the club is to purchase a 100 club number. We currently have 35 numbers available, and for just £5 a month you can have a number. This goes into a monthly prize draw for prizes ranging from £25 to £35 as well as a quarterly draw in which you could win up to £250. If we sold the remaining 35 numbers the club would raise an additional £175.00 per month. Imagine what we may be able to do with this to help improve YOUR club? Contact Ash Free, Darren Wilson or James Butterfield for more details.
The football card still remains in circulation with numbers available to buy for just £10, with a top prize of £350. The football card will remain open until the end of April, after which the prizes will be drawn. Captains will be coming round during the first three weeks of the season asking you to support where possible in buying a team.
Speaking of fundraising, we’re now registered with easyfundraising, which means you can help us for FREE. Over 4,000 shops and sites will donate to us when you use easyfundraising to shop with them – at no extra cost to yourself! All you need to do is sign up and remember to use easyfundraising whenever you shop online. It’s easy and completely FREE! These donations really mount up, so please sign up to support us at https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/baildoncc/?utm_campaign=raise-more&utm_content=en-n1
We have taken the unfortunate decision to postpone the sponsored walk to a date later in the summer. With the Easter holidays falling during the proposed date, the likely number of participants was low, plus we hope to attract more people to take part in the summer where we hope the weather will be better.
Beer and Gin Festival
After what many said was our best ever festival last year, our most popular event returns in the first weekend of July. An attractive mix of beer and gin will be on offer and we have also teamed up with a number of street food vendors for this year, to help give a true festival experience.
The first team’s home game vs Morley on the Saturday of the festival has been brought forward to a start time of 11.30am to accommodate the evening's entertainment.
We hope to see as many supporters as possible at Jenny Lane and Belmont this year for all forms of cricket, in what we hope to be another successful season for all at Baildon.
#GREEN AND GOLD!