Whippey back to help shape Triangle’s title aspirations

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KURTIS Whippey has confirmed he is returning to the Towergate Halifax League to help spearhead another Triangle trophy assault.

The 23-year-old fast bowler has had three seasons in the Bradford League, taking plenty of wickets for Idle in Division Two and then Undercliffe in Division One.

However, he says he has missed playing cricket with his mates at Triangle. His dad Tracy is a long-serving Triangle batsman and the family home is only 200 yards from the club.

“I’m definitely going back and I am just sorting out my transfer form from Undercliffe,” said Whippey.

Triangle won the league title last year in spite of a limited attack. Their small ground and excellent wicket ensures they attract more batsmen than bowlers to the club.

Whippey was forced to watch much of the action last season after an ankle ligament injury sustained on holiday in Newquay in May put him on the sidelines.

And he admitted it was “weird” watching Triangle’s players receive their league winner’s medals and not being among them.

He said he was looking forward to playing alongside the likes of skipper Carl Fletcher, who took it upon himself to lead the bowling attack last season, and last summer’s 1,000-run batsman Christian Silkstone.

“Hopefully we can not only win the league but also do well in the Parish Cup and Twenty/20 as well,” said Whippey, who was part of Triangle’s 2008 Parish Cup winning team.

Whippey believes he is returning from the Bradford League a better bowler and his full recovery from injury has already been confirmed at Triangle’s nets in Sowerby Bridge.

A speed gun there has clocked him at more than 80 mph and he looks sure to have plenty of Premier Division batsmen hopping around this summer.

His return to Triangle, where Fletcher and Dave Turner remain captain and vice-captain, seems certain to ensure the Grassy Bottom outfit are the team to beat in 2012.

FIRST class umpire Ismail Dawood, the former Yorkshire wicketkeeper, will be the guest speaker following the annual meeting of the ECB Yorkshire Board of Officials’ annual meeting at Outlane Cricket Club on Tuesday, February 7.

Dawood, the first English-born Asian to play for the white rose county, is expected to talk about his playing and umpiring career.

All umpires from the Towergate Halifax League, Huddersfield League and Huddersfield Central League are invited to attend and there will be a pie and peas supper.

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien is hoping to return to the scene of his finest hour by earning an IPL contract in Saturday’s franchise auction.

The all-rounder earned celebrity status in India last year when he struck the fastest World Cup century in history in the stunning win over England.

O’Brien reached three figures in just 50 balls and finished with 113 as he despatched England’s bowlers to all parts in Bangalore.

He showed that was no fluke with the quickest hundred in English cricket last summer, a thrilling 44-ball effort for Gloucestershire.

Now he hopes to be back in India for IPL 5 and is one of 144 players from around the world looking to be picked up in the auction.

While O’Brien may not be the biggest name in that star-studded list, his base price of 50,000 US Dollars makes him a potential bargain against the likes of Graeme Swann, VVS Laxman and Brendon McCullum who all have a reserve of 400,000 US Dollars.

“The IPL is a great tournament, the biggest in the world in my opinion given the crowds and media coverage, and it’s so exciting to be in with a chance of being there,” he said. “The auction is pretty close now and it would be fantastic to get picked up.

“The eight weeks I spent out there at the World Cup was amazing, I loved every minute.

“Obviously the hundred against England meant my profile increased and then I went to Gloucestershire and scored the fastest century in England last season too. Those two innings stand out and hopefully I’ll have some support at the auction.

“Kochi wanted me last year after the World Cup but I wasn’t on the original list so I couldn’t sign which was a shame. It would be fantastic to be signed this year.”