GREAT Harwood will be striving to come out on top when the battle between the Lancashire and Ribblesdale League hots up under the floodlights next Tuesday to Thursday.
Lancashire League teams Nelson and Burnley will face Read and Great Harwood from the Ribblesdale League in a 35-over competition at Read.
All teams will be in the brightly coloured one-day kit and have numbers and names on their back.
The idea to stage it at Read came from former Rishton pro Peter Sleep, now the paid man at Read, and one-time Lancashire star Ian Austin who are desperate to revive cricket in the area.
"Cricket is dying and it needs a shot in the arm. Cricket has got to go the way of football with numbers and names and that type of thing to get kids back interested in it," said Sleep.
"I have a nephew who has given up cricket because it is dull. Something like this will hopefully boost cricket in the area.
"The whole thing needs a kick up the backside and we are just trying to do something about it. I have been involved in the sport for years but I want to play in this competition so hopefully it will have the same appeal for others. It is the way forward."
National cricket began the Twenty-20 game - a slog out - in a bid to boost cricket's image and Sleep is hoping his three-day event can have the same effect.
"We might do it like the Twenty-20 next year - we will just see how it goes. We are hoping for good weather but if it does rain, we will just have a ten over slog. There will be something happening."
On Tuesday, Read will take on Joe Scuderi's Nelson while on Wednesday Great Harwood will battle with Burnley. On Thursday, the two winners will go head to head.
"It makes it interesting for both Leagues to have clubs involved. We just chose them because they wanted to play and it covers the whole area.
"I think each team will try that bit harder because they are in different Leagues but it should be a good spectacle."
The cost is £5 for three nights or £2 per night, £1 concessions. The games start at 6.30pm.
Meanwhile Sleep admits he is looking forward to taking a step back next season as he returns to the amateur ranks with Read.
"My body has told me enough is enough," said the former Australian Test star. "I have been doing this for years now and I want to make life easier for myself."
The floodlit event has been sponsored by Vernon Stainless Steel of Blackburn.
- FOUR Great Harwood players have been selected for the Ribblesdale League XI who will face the Bolton League for the Manchester Evening News Cup on Sunday.
Gordon Simpson, Stuart Maher, Paul Houldsworth and Russell Whalley will hopefully star in the team. The game is at Farnworth Cricket Club and wickets are pitched at 1.30pm.
- ACCRINGTON are holding a Twenty-20 competition at Thorneyholme Road on Monday 25 August. More details to follow next week.