This weeks pre-season preview comes from 2nd XI captain John Green. John is a life-long CCC member, whose on and off the field contributions have helped put the club in the strong position it is today. Whilst John has been happy to move down the batting order in recent years, it is no doubt that the recent consecutive 2nd XI titles have been a result of his attitude to the game (and club) rubbing off on our up and coming cricketers.
John's 21 years experience as CCC 2nd XI captain lead to some interesting insights, even if his last response befitted his job as an accountant!
2017 will be your 22nd successive season as 2nd XI captain, how has the club and the make-up of your side changed in that period?
I inherited a very good 2nds side from Keith Fawcett. In those days we had a players tea rota which dictated selection! The captains often had to do it themselves. Sarah our tea lady is worth her weight in gold and we should treasure her.
It was an older side with more men in those days who also used the showers! We had better nicknames too - that first side had Science, Sipper, Swiller, Trotsky, Hoover, The Orange Man (aka The Claw),The Great Bladesman, Fish Head ,The Wing Commander (and Jack) and we won the league twice.
We now have an electric scorebook ,scoreboard & statistics, larger changing rooms, hot showers, and a young side with better haircuts. Everyone can bat now too. Chris Musson and Stephen Booth were in both teams...although Boothy's had a dozen clubs in between!
The last 2 seasons have been particularly successful for you...What have been your highlights?
The biggest highlight was simply being champions again.The wait from 1998 to 2015 suggests the committee were very patient with me!
I was absolutely delighted for the young lads, they are tremendous cricketers, never a moment's trouble and proved themselves winners too. For the older lads it meant we weren't wasting our time after all and to finally win it with them meant a lot.
2015 - late in the season the incredible battles at Stacksteads, where we'd never won, and at Salesbury, our old nemesis, were great days. At Salesbury, Graeme Kershaw's 7 wickets and Tahir Amin's 5 victims to win us the league were both immense. Also the players returning to the team like the Scotts, Josh Holgate, and Rick Blackburn that made all the difference.
2016 - The individual displays of the lads - Sam Mulligan 70 odd & a 5-for, Harry Lang 60 odd & 6-for, Eli Smith an 8-for - all at only 15 years old in a tough league! Assad Mehmood in a 60 run stand from 80 for 9, and then 4 for 7 with the new ball. I remember one captain berating his men that we wanted it more than them...and he was right!
How are the team/club getting ready for our first Lancs League season? Have you noticed any changes?
We're having fewer winter nets, the 13 week slog last year was too many, so short and sharp this time round with some pro coaches doing catching & fielding drills. There's a genuine belief that we've got good sides but equally a recognition that something tough is coming our way! There's definitely an expectancy that we've not had before. A lot of fitness work going in too.
What are your impressions of the Lancs League and what are you looking forward to about leading your side in 2017.
My dad always said if you were too good for Clitheroe you'd go to the Lancs League. I remember John Seedle leaving for East Lancs and saying their young Aussie was a good 'un...and it turned out to be Allan Border! Plus his brother Paul going to Accrington and playing with Shane Warne, so enough said, total respect for the League! I'm looking forward to playing on their grounds, soaking up the history and seeing our young lads push on again.
What does a successful season look like for CCC?
It would be nice for one of the sides to really compete for one of the trophies, to get in the top divisions when the league splits into two and make some new friends. For the club as a whole, to see the projects we've got planned come to fruition and our fans get the chance to see some top quality cricket and cricketers at Chatburn Rd and on the road...and be fed too !
CLITHEROE CC 2nd XI
Leading run scorer? It won't be me, it might be Tahir, Harry, Ian Scott, Farooq Butt, or better still if it's someone else like Callum Birtwell-Jones, Frankie Jackson, Chris Musson or Josh - strength in depth and we'll need it!
Leading wicket taker? Eli...he got me out 3 times in 5 minutes on Sunday!
Youngster to watch out for? Hopefully one of those already mentioned will burst through into the firsts like Charlie Dewhurst in 2015 and Sam Mulligan in 2016. Looking forward to seeing Matt King too.
Any other predictions? Me to need a runner at least once ! Probably hamstring.
Player to watch (1st XI): Jack Dewhurst to push on again with the bat, Saud Ahmed mystery spinner, and Charlie Dewhurst in the field.
Future star: Charlie Atkinson, great technique and temperament, think Mike Atherton.
Where would you like to see the club in 12 months time? Solvent!
Updated 22:07 - 9 Mar 2017 by Web Manager