Club hopes to follow up ‘fantastic’ season

Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club's overseas player Dinesh de silva.

Wirksworth and Middleton Cricket Club's overseas player Dinesh de silva.

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LAST season will take some topping for Wirksworth and Middleton CC but club chairman Sue Marshall feels the ingredients are in place for another successful campaign.

All that is required now is for the wet weather to relent, allowing the players to actually get out on the pitch and sample the sound of leather on willow once more.

All three of the club’s Saturday teams have yet to bowl a ball in competitive anger so it’s a case of hoping for third time lucky this weekend.

Last year was a season of success and achievement, both on and off the field. The 2nds, 3rds and the Sunday side all won their respective leagues while the first team finished a highly respectable third in Division Three of the Derbyshire County League.

In addition, the extensive renovation and extension of the club’s pavilion was completed during the season, providing an impressive facility at the club’s disposal.

Sue Marshall explained: “The last two years have been very successful for us. In 2010, the 1sts and 2nds were promoted and of course we had the three promotions last time.

“We were very pleased with how the season went both on and off the pitch. The opening of the pavilion just added to what was a fantastic season.

“We already had an A-plus rated ground and we feel we have the facilities to go with it, facilities that are the equal of teams in the Premier League and that is ultimately where we want to get the first team.

“Our aim now is to get more promotions this season and we hope we have the players in place to help us do that.”

The first team will be captained again by the highly experienced David Greatorex, with David Hopkinson and Colin Julian at the helm of the 2nds and 3rds respectively.

The club is also hopeful that the paperwork will soon be sorted to allow popular Sri Lankan all-rounder Dinesh de Silva to return as overseas player, after his hugely successful stint in 2010.

Sue Marshall continued: “We believe that we will have Dinesh back with us in two weeks’ time. We have heard from the Border Agency that the visa work at this end is now sorted so we are now waiting on the paperwork at Dinesh’s end in Sri Lanka.

“He made quite an impact in 2010, both on and off the pitch. He topped both the bowling and batting averages in Division Four with 90 wickets and almot 1000 runs.

“Off the pitch he really got involved in the coaching side so it will be great to have him back.”

She went on: “Looking at our other sides, the seconds have got a good blend of talented local youngsters coming through and experienced members of the side who can help them, and the same goes for the thirds.

“The Sunday side was promoted at the first time of asking from Division Six of the Mansfield and District League and provides a really useful outlet for some who are perhaps not involved on Saturdays, plus youngsters to get important experience.

“We’ve got a few players returning to us, plus some new players, so the playing side of things looks very promising.

“Off the field, the next focus is fundraising for a new scorebox with an electronic scoreboard.

“In addition, we are also looking at renovations on our second ground up at Middleton and working with the trustees at Middleton to allow us to fundraise for a new pavilion up there.”

So all in all, it seems the elements are in place for what the club hopes will be another memorable campaign.