Aussie influx at Elland and Walsden

Elland will head into battle in the Huddersfield League with a new-look side including two overseas amateurs from Australia.

Experienced and talented batsman Paul Winrow is still skipper but there is a new Cricket Chairman at Hullen Edge in Mark Ward, as well six arrivals and five departures on the playing side.

The newcomers from Down Under are James Crowley, a 23-year-old Sydney left handed first grade batsman, and Sean Fox, a 22-year-old EU passport holder who bats in the middle order.

Crowley plays for Sydney University CC and was recently called up to the New South Wales Under-23 team while Fox plays for the University Club in Perth.

The other arrivals are Adam Wood, a 20-year-old middle order batsman from Bradford League champions Woodlands, leg spinner Ian Walker (18) from Broad Oak who played in Huddersfield’s Joe Lumb championship winning team last year and youngsters Seth Oddy and Isaac Pollitt from Barkisland.

The departures are last year’s West Indian star Lorenzo Ingram, who is belieived to be heading for Barkisland, Dominic Finn who has retired, Naz Rehman (unknown), Ashton Blakey (unknown) and Simon Wheelwright to Mytholmroyd.

Ward, who has stepped into shoes vacated by Stuart Fletcher and Dennis Midwood in recent times, is an ex-Bradford League player who joined Elland in late 1998 and has played in the firsts and seconds, captaining the reserve string from 2009 to 2011.

He said: “We’ve managed to keep the nucleus of last year’s team, with a couple of good batting additions.

“The signings of Adam, Ian, Seth and Isaac further emphasises our desire to recruit and offer opportunities to the best local talent.”

Wood said his players had been netting since early January, with extra fitness sessions on a Tuesday.

He said any local players wanting to push themselves could attend nets at 7.30pm every Monday (seniors) or 3pm on Sundays (juniors) at the Cricket Asylum in Sowerby Bridge.

Ben Speak will continue as second team captain while John Evans will lead the thirds in the Sunday Section of the Halifax League.

Central Lancashire League champions Walsden have signed Aussie Brenton Edwards as their overseas amateur for 2013.

The 22-year-old opening batsman from the Bayswater Morley club in Western Australia has just broken into first grade cricket Down Under.

Edwards is likely to be the only change to the Walsden side which lifted the title for the first time in almost half a century.

The Scott Street club played the two thirds of the season without an overseas amateur after Hamish Kyne was injured.