Halifax Cricket League: Augustinians make return

Augustinians' new ground at Woodhouse Gardens, Rastrick
Augustinians' new ground at Woodhouse Gardens, Rastrick

Augustinians bring a Brighouse area presence to the Halifax League when they return after a five-year hiatus on Saturday.

The first XI, who will be led by Imran Javed in 2019, make the trip to Old Town hoping for a winning return to the division.

The club has succssfully negotiated a long-term lease with Calderdale Council to develop and play their home games at Woodhouse Gardens, Rastrick.

They formerly played at the Huddersfield YMCA complex at Laund Hill and their previous Halifax League stint spanned from 1997 to 2013.

The second XI, who begin their season at home to Old Town, will be captained by Ferman Ali.

“We would wish to invite anyone from the surrounding areas to come along, watch and participate,” said club chairman and deputy mayor of Calderdale Chris Pillai.

“In addition, future work will be undertaken to develop junior sides and involve local schools and the community.”

There will also be plenty of focus on Illingworth in the top section. The North Halifax side will be playing their first Premier game, at home to Shelf Northowram Hedge Top, after successive promotions since quitting the Aire/Wharfe League.

Halifax League clubs will be getting to grips with electronic scoring onto the league’s new website and league officials will also be monotoring if clubs can field full sides over the Easter weekend.

Rule changes include shorter 80-over matches in the lower two second teams’ sections.

A 12 over limit per bowler will be in operation in these sections and a 14-over limit in the four higher sections, in which matches will still be over 90 overs.

Players will also have a different brand of ball to deal with, Readers having replaced Dukes as the league’s official supplier.

League press officer Paul Whiteley had one team casualty to report in midweek - Thornton’s Sunday side.

They have withdrawn from the middle section, having finished fifth of eight teams last season.

It means some teams will have byes in Group C of the Rod Warhurst Cup and the league programme to follow.

It is only a partial start for the Halifax League this weekend; matches in the Saturday first division and the Sunday League start the following weekend.