Cotton takes reins after Laycock quits

Wayne Cotton is the newmanager of the Towergate Halifax League’s select side following the shock resignation of Geoff Laycock.

The Bradshaw batsman is a former captain of the team and league officials say he volunteered to do the job.

Long-serving Booth club member Laycock, who led the league team to success in the final of the Leeds Area Knockout Cup competition last year, said he had quit in the wake of comments aimed at his wife Anne.

They came on the boundary edge while their sons Richard and Robert played for a Halifax League XI against a Yorkshire XI at Copley last month.

While Richard is widely regarded as among the top two or three quick bowlers in the league, some people have questioned whether Robert should be in the side, even though he is a very useful batsman.

Laycock senior said: “When lads are making comments to my wife while they are walking by her to get her to respond, then that’s out of order.”

The 60-year-old said fufilling the role was “no longer worth the hassle.”

“I don’t want a situation where this might rear its ugly head again,” he said.

Laycock has also run Halifax under 17 and under 21 sides and he feels he has given something back to a league he has enjoyed playing in for 47 years.

He also rounded on his selection critics and explained why Robert had been in the side. Laycock said his older son had captained the league side in the past because nobody else had wanted to do it.

He added: “Robert had a poor season last year so said he would only be 12th man this time but because people have dropped out he has become a regular player.

“When it gets to 10.0 on a Sunday morning and you are looking for a player because someone has given backword, Robert has always been prepared to step in.”

Laycock said several of the league’s top players did not wish to play for the league side while others dropped out late on.

A statement from the league’s executive said Cotton would run the team, which while play either South Yorkshire or the Dales Council in the semi-finals of the West Yorkshire Area Council Knockout Cup, until atleast the end of the season.

“Wayne Cotton was asked by the executive to take up the baton for this season and the position will be reviewed later.”

It added: “We would like to thank Geoff for his hard work and we are disappointed he had to come to this decision.”