STAR bowler David Ormerod was relieved to get his 1000th Lancashire League wicket - just to stop getting earache off his team-mates!
The Accrington skipper reached the prestigious total by seeing off Todmorden’s Mark Clayton on Saturday and he became one of an elite band who has achieved the remarkable feat.
But, while delighted to get to the magical mark, the 39-year-old admitted he may now get a bit more peace while out in the field.
"I have been getting plenty of ribbing from my team-mates," said David whose career started at Thorneyholme Road before he spent 15 years at Bacup - where he won three league titles and took 877 league wickets - and then moved back to Accrington last season.
"They have been in my ear saying 995, 996 and counting down and putting the pressure on! So it was great to get there against Todmorden on Saturday. I needed three wickets to get to my 1000th and got two and then I got Mark Clayton out.
"He is a friend and was gracious - he shook my hand, presented me with a bottle of champagne and then Todmorden gave me the ball which Accrington are having mounted for me.
"I never thought I would get this far when I started out around 19 years ago. I never had any aspirations like that as I just wanted to play in the first XI with my boyhood heroes and a pro.
"But now I have got there, I would like to try and catch my friend Keith Roscoe at Rawtenstall. He is one of just four people left alive, I think, to get to 1000 wickets and I would like to get past him!"
Roscoe has 1229 wickets at the moment while Ormerod, nicknamed "Dibber", is now on 1007.
And his dad Alick will continue to keep tabs to see if his son can overtake Roscoe - especially as Ormerod leads the wicket taking this season with 46 so far
"My dad has pages and pages of statistics. How many professionals I have got out, who, when and where. How many five wickets in a game I have had and just about everything.
"He reminds me all the time and he was scoring at Todmorden on Saturday and, when I did it, I just held up the ball for him at the scorebox."
Ormerod remembers his first victim - Burnley pro Muddasar Nazar. "It was a nice juicy half volley on leg side which he clipped to square leg," he smiled.
And since that first one in 1990, he has since claimed some big names and played against some of the best cricketers in the world.
"The league doesn’t really attract the standard of pro which it did when I started out but I have played against Shane Warne, Michael Bevan, Viv Richards, Allan Donald and Michael Holden and more.
"It was always great to test your skills against someone at the top of the game and they were playing Test cricket at the time so the wicket of Michael Bevan sticks out for me.
"He was playing for Australia and was pro at Rawtenstall and somehow I got him out - that was a good scalp!
"But no matter who it is, there is always a special pleasure getting the professional out."
Seamer Ormerod admits, while outstanding at local league, he didn’t think his style was county standard.
"I think I would have been hit all over the place. I have never been quick enough! The local wickets suit me better."
And his team-mates certainly like having him on their side - especially for collections as he has 68 five wicket hauls in his outstanding career.
"At Bacup, the lads would get me to buy a round and the rest went in my pocket. It doesn’t happen at Accrington - I have to put it all behind the bar and it goes to everyone.
"But all the lads do it although we do give plenty of stick to those that don’t get five wickets or a 50 often!"
And Ormerod will hope there are plenty more victims to come this season as he looks to clinch the league and cup double.
While he grabbed the headlines on Saturday - with Accrington moving to the top of the league for the first time this season - it was ex-England batsman Graham Lloyd who got his first century for Accrington in the local derby with Enfield who stole the show on Sunday.
"Graham is superb - he has been a breath of fresh air. I went into bat with him on Sunday and asked him what I should do.
"He told me just to lean on the bat at one end and he would hit it at the other - and he did! It is an honour to play with him."
With Accrington at the top and in the Worsley Cup final, there are still plenty of dreams to be realised but Ormerod refuses to get carried away. "There is a lot of cricket to be played - a lot of double headers and we haven’t won anything yet."
But with "Dibber" in their side, Accrington know they stand a great chance.