Brighouse’s hopes raised by newcomers

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BRIGHOUSE cricket chairman Peter Bradley believes his side will return to Bradford League action in a month’s time in a more optimistic frame of mind than in recent years.

The club has failed to produce sides capable of doing justice to the excellent Russell Way facilities in recent years and while quality could still be an issue with a limited playing budget, Bradley is confident that a shortage of players will not.

Brighouse, who open their Division Two programme at Bankfoot on April 21, have announced four captures while a couple of last season’s players have departed.

Batsmen Umar Salim and Zahid Hussain have joined from Almondbury and Woodlands respectively while medium pace bowler Matthew Senior is back at the club from Spen Victoria. Robert Pratt, a wicketkeeper/batsman formely with Bradford and Bingley, is likely to be in the seconds.

As previously announced, Adam Brown has returned to Spen Victoria after being offered the captaincy there while Brighouse are disappointed to have lost promising youngster Liam Collins to Lightcliffe.

Chris Maloney is the new first team skipper and Brighouse, who have been netting at North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax, are hoping to blow away the cobwebs with a friendly against Halifax League side Copley before the real action begins.

Bradley admitted his club had been forced to go back to basics but said: “We are a bit more positive than we’ve been in the last couple of seasons.

“Our main aim is to keep players and develop a side rather than starting afresh each season.”

Bradley admitted finances meant any advances were likely to be steady rather than spectacular with the cricket section receiving no money from the sports club.

“We’re on an extra low playing budget for a team in the Bradford League,” he said. “I’m very, very surprised at the amount of money clubs are still prepared to pay out.

“But we have got enough quality to do better than last year. Our main aim is to be in mid-table and competitive. We’re looking not to be wooden spooners.”