Reigning JCT600 Bradford League Division Two champions Farsley have underlined their determination to consolidate their place in the top flight by signing former Yorkshire batsman Joe Sayers.
The 30-year-old opening batsman announced his retirement from first-class cricket in October and the Red Lane outfit are delighted he is joining them as they celebrate their 150th anniversary.
Sayers, who previously played in the Bradford League with Cleckheaton in the 2005 season, has played his recent club cricket with Huddersfield League outfit Hoylandswaine and helped them to win the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy in 2013.
The left-hander made 5,457 runs at an average of 33.07 in a first-class career that saw him miss the entire 2010 season with post viral fatigue syndrome.
His arrival will compensate for the departure of young batsman Joe Greaves, the 2011 Gordon Bowers Young Cricketer of the Year, and the retirement of former Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire batsman Ashley Metcalfe – the second highest runscorer in Bradford League history with 16,230.
Farsley chairman Dave Storr said: “When we heard that Joe was retiring from first-class cricket, we immediately expressed an interest in signing him.
“He is both a fine player and a nice person and I am delighted he has chosen to come and play his cricket at Farsley. As a club we want to consolidate our position in Division One and we believe Joe can help us do that.
“We were disappointed to get relegated in 2012. We didn’t play the cricket we felt we were capable of and don’t want to go down the same route again.
“Farsley has a proud history and we do not want to become a club that yo-yos between Division One and Two. We want to compete in the top flight.”
The capture of Sayers is expected to be followed shortly by the signing of an Australian all-rounder and a left-arm spinner to add further depth to the side, although Storr is refusing to reveal the identities of his targets.