Updated: Apr 17
Whilst we pass the time until the Government, the ECB and the Bradford League give us their collective blessing to resume operations, we intend to whet your appetite with a regular stream of articles and features about cricket at Baildon CC. We hope to cover all our teams; be it the 1st and 2nd XI in action at Jenny Lane, our 3rd, 4th and 5th teams gracing the hallowed turf of the Belmont Superdome (where originally they were operated as a separate club, Baildon Methodists), to a variety of evening league teams and a long history of junior cricket.
If you have any ideas for a feature or would like to submit some content please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We begin with a little guessing game . . .
Can you name the top ten run getters that have played for our first team in recent history? Well, with thanks to figures supplied by Bradford League statistician supremo, Mike Rhodes, I certainly can, but can you? (only includes runs scored in a Baildon shirt).
10th - Simon Bailey
Years at the club: 2011-present
Going in reverse order, we begin at number 10, with a hard hitting, left handed all-rounder. Perhaps the best player from Keighley, ignoring all the Robinsons, to have represented the club? Also certain to figure in a list of our leading wicket takers as well. Owns more kit than PC Sports and All-Rounder put together.
9th - Phil Slater
Years at the club: 2002-2006
Another all-rounder occupies ninth place and like our tenth place batter, comes from a family steeped in local league heritage. Fuelled by chicken nuggets and chips, this talented player formed a key part of our top order in the early part of this century. He also took a number of wickets with his bustling, accurate pace bowling.
8th - Simon Webb
Years at the club: 2007-2013
With at least ten other brothers to choose from, we certainly picked the best member of this family. A multi-talented sportsman, who batted and kept-wicket for a number of years for our first team. Reputed to be the best net bowler of all time – capable of swinging the ball miles!
7th - Mushtaq Ahmed
Years at the club: 2000-2019
At number seven we have someone for whom batting is not the main reason for their presence in the first team. A hard hitting tail-ender who was very rarely seen batting in a helmet, warmed up in flop flops and was responsible for some of the biggest sixes hit at Jenny Lane. A very loyal and hugely respected Bradford League legend.
6th - Ian Philliskirk
Years at the club: 2006-2010
Another Bradford League stalwart occupies sixth position. It’s very easy to use the throwaway phrase “more clubs than Tiger Woods” to describe this man but we certainly got him at the right time and anyone who ever played under his captaincy would know there are few better tacticians in the league. Most famous in our circles for leading us to the title in 2009 and breaking the big-club/large wage bill monopoly.
5th - Matt Duce
Years at the club: 2000-2008
The Bradford League’s “Mr Cricket”, one of the ultimate cricket badgers still playing in the league today. Besides club legend Geoff Kay, he can lay claim to be one of the very best wicket keepers to have taken to the Jenny Lane pitch. Fiercely competitive, was often seen wearing his light enhancing shades on the hottest, brightest days of the year, seeking every marginal gain possible!
4th - Paul Spragg
Years at the club: 1998-2004
Despite having a reputation as being one of the least popular clubs in the league, we have managed to attract a number of leading players over the years. Number 4 certainly deserves this description, a fearless batter who loved taking on the opposition’s overseas fast bowlers. Scored a ton away at Woodlands, against the best bowling attack in the league (on one of the worst decks in the competition) which was rated by anyone who saw it as one of the best knocks they had ever seen.
3rd - Jonny Reynolds
Years at the club: 2004-present
One of two current first team players to make the list, number three is one of a select group of cricketers to have never played for another team outside of Baildon CC (no, it’s not Jamie Abbott). One of those really annoying people who happen to be frustratingly good at whatever sport they play (apparently he’s pretty good at golf but he never mentions it!). Ever since he effortlessly progressed through our junior ranks, breezed in and out of our second team, this player has made run scoring look easy whichever team he played in. Capable of breaking every club record going – he’s one of our own!
2nd - Simon Davies
Years at the club: 1993-2008
With a record that is strikingly similar to the player in third position, our second placed batter dedicated a big part of his career to Baildon. Although he moved on just before our title success, he, more than most, deserved to lay claim to another piece of silverware at Baildon CC. An ever present in some of our best sides through the 90’s and most of the 00’s, this batter truly deserved his nickname of ‘Gower’. One of only a few men with a constitution strong enough to forego tea to free up more time for smoking, our number two honestly was the second best left hander to ever play for the club. Just his luck that another member of the left handed dynasty beat him to the top spot . . .
1st - Richard Robinson
Years at the club: 1988-2001
Just squeezing into my qualification period (must have worn a Baildon shirt between 2000 and 2020) our number one is a player so talented that they would be a shoe in to open the batting in a team of Bradford League all-time greats. Putting to one side the fact that his bowling and fielding would get him into any of the best league sides in recent history, his batting rose above us mere mortals. He genuinely operated on another level to most club batsmen. Were it not for the fact that he didn’t fit the clean cut/public schoolboy image demanded by county cricket in the nineties, he would surely have graced the first class game with his stroke making. Yorkshire’s loss was definitely Baildon’s gain with our loyal followers lapping up every drive that he smashed through the covers with unerring regularity.
How many can you name? Email your answers to email@example.com before Friday 17th April when they will be published on the website. There may even be a prize for the winner!
Baildon Badger since 1987
Well done to formee first team skipper Craig Hitchenor and stalwart Steve Mottram for getting all 10. Both of you will get a year's membership in the 100 Club for your efforts.