JENNINGS Ribblesdale Cricket League outfit Oswaldtwistle Immanuel are searching for a new professional after 2002 pro Rod Ashton informed them that he will not be returning this year.
Australian Ashton, who had a decent debut season in the paid ranks, initially accepted terms to come back for a second campaign but has had to alter his plans after landing a job in Melbourne which rules out taking the English summer off.
Immanuel have immediately cast their net once more and I understand that a reliable old contact, former Church and Rishton professional Brendan McArdle, has been helping their officials narrow the field.
McArdle still plays and coaches in high-grade club cricket in Victoria and has suggested a number of men he feels could do a job foer the New Laners.
Their captain Gerard Metcalf said: "It's disappointing that Rod won't be coming back because after a slow start getting used to the strange conditions, he really improved as a player during the second half of last season.
"That helped a team with many young and inexperienced players to climb off the bottom of the table after we had a really good run of results late on.
"Ideally, we would have liked continuity and if Rod had been able to project his form of the second half of the season over the full summer, I believe the team would have responded positively. But we will have a look around and take advice from people who are very knowledgeable about league cricket and hopefully we will come up with someone else who can continue to improve us."
Baxenden welcome back Jonathan Harvey and Great Harwood have Aussie Andrew Crook as their hired hand. In the Transco Lancashire League Rishton and Church are still searching for new professionals.
- IMMANUEL'S senior net practice sessions don't start until Thursday 6 February and will begin at 8.30pm each Thursday thereafter.
- ACCRINGTON Cricket Club are looking to recruit a new First XI scorer following the retirement of stalwart Lionel Cooke. Lionel, who also stands down as Transco Lancashire League secretary later this month, is having a well-earned rest and Accrington haven't yet been able to find anyone to replace him. Anyone interested in taking over the reins in the scorebox should contact Duncan Warburton on 01254 392754.