A NOMADIC cricket club have reached the venerable age of 70 but admit that their future is uncertain.

West Riding Cricket Club, formed in 1949 by eight players based in Bradford and Huddersfield, with help from Hull’s Peter Hick, celebrated their anniversary this month with an internal match at Ben Rhydding.

“Cricket used to be played over both days of the weekend, with families coming along, but now other sports have started to intrude, there is more league cricket played on Sundays and times have definitely changed,” admitted West Riding CC chairman Robin Snook.

“It was just a pure love of cricket that got the club started, and in our heyday we would play 16 matches a season but now we only arrange about ten and probably only play about six, so the future is uncertain.

“However, there are still clubs that want to play friendly Sunday cricket with a competitive edge.”

Regular fixtures over the years have been against Ben Rhydding, Yorkshire Gents, Bingley Congs, Penguins and Alwoodley.

Two of the most famous players to have represented West Riding were current New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who was 19 when he played for West Riding in 2006, and former Kent and England bowler Alan Igglesden, whose last club was Bingley Congs.

However, West Riding has also welcomed the other end of the strata into their fold, with Snook junior saying: “Paul Smith and John Watson, who were both average cricketers, each played over 200 games for the club and were welcomed alongside hardened Bradford League cricketers such as Ian Hewitt and Stuart Verity.

Rain had the last word in the internal West Riding match, which featured 22 past and present players chosen by the club chairman, but not before James McIntosh’s XI had made 109-9 off their 25 overs.

Darren Wilson top-scored with 32 and he was backed up by Ben Hemsley, who managed 21 before being caught by his dad Chris.

The successful bowlers were Al Wightman (3-14), Richard Ashworth (2-18), and skipper James Snook (2-18).

Also worthy of note was septuagenarian Iain Copping’s typically miserly spell of 0-16 off five overs.

A sumptuous home-made tea was then consumed by the 100 or so assembled players, past players, families and friends, including some who had travelled from as far afield as London and Newcastle.

A toast was made to absent friends, to great memories, to cricket and to the future of the West Riding Cricket Club, and a collection raised £100 towards the rebuilding of the pavilion at Olicanian Cricket Club, another club with whom West Riding have enjoyed many fixtures with over the years.

Sadly, James Snook’s XI only managed one over after tea before heavy rain called play to a halt.