Woodlands all-rounder embarks on new term

Sarfraz Ahmed embarks on his 15th season as Woodlands' overseas player when the new cricket season begins this weekend.
Sarfraz Ahmed embarks on his 15th season as Woodlands' overseas player when the new cricket season begins this weekend.
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Sarfraz Ahmed embarks on his 15th consecutive season with Woodlands when the JCT600 Bradford League commences on Saturday.

The fearsome opening bowler and hard-hitting batsman has helped Woodlands claim all six of their Division One titles during a glittering career on English soil.

To play for 15 consecutive seasons with the same club as an overseas player must be unheard of anywhere else in the country and ‘Saffy’ will be aiming to spearhead a Woodlands challenge once more.

Woodlands begin their Division One campaign with a tasty opening fixture at home to New Farnley on Saturday before facing an interesting trip to Mirfield Parish Cavaliers in the Heavy Woollen Cup on Sunday, where they will come up against former title winning captain Tim Orrell.

Back-to-back champions Cleckheaton have strengthened their side with the signing of opening bowler Curtis Free from Doncaster.

Free will partner Iain Wardlaw with the new ball, with the latter fresh from a fantastic experience of playing for Scotland in the World Cup.

Cleckheaton, kick off their league campaign with a trip to Bradford and Bingley.

Hanging Heaton have strengthened their side with the signing of Yorkshire academy bowler Josh Shaw, who has been playing for the county’s second string against Glamorgan at Headingley this week.

Experienced Ian Philliskirk has also joined the club from Farsley and Heaton, who are again captained by ex-Yorkshire all-rounder Gary Fellows, start at home to promoted Saltaire before hosting Great Preston in the Heavy Woollen Cup.

East Bierley also start with a tasty opening fixture when they welcome Pudsey St Lawrence to South View Road.

Scholes embark on a new era for their club having joined the Bradford League from the Central Yorkshire.

Their historic first game is at home to Yeadon and should provide a decent test of what the New Popplewell Lane outfit can expect this season.

Scholes face a stern test on Sunday when they entertain Heavy Woollen Cup holders Pudsey Congs.

It is an important season for clubs in the second division as they face an added incentive of being involved in the inaugural Bradford Premier League in 2016 should they win promotion.

Gomersal have lured spinner Craig Woodhead from Spen Victoria and they entertain Bowling Old Lane in their opening fixture on Saturday.

Spen travel to Bankfoot, while Hartshead Moor sit out the opening round of matches on their free date.

Gomersal travel to Baildon in the Heavy Woollen Cup first round, while Spen entertain Huddersfield League Scholes and Hartshead host CYL Premier champions Methley.