BRADFORD & Bingley CC skipper Ed Brown admits the club are in a transitional phase, but says they are trying to adhere to the principles of the Bradford League’s top sides in order to ensure long-term success.

There have been a slew of mid-table finishes for B&B in recent years, and Brown says realistically, fans should expect more of the same for 2021, with the Priestley Cup their best shot at glory.

He said: “We made strides last year with a young team, and we only lost the T20 Cup final to Hanging Heaton thanks to a ridiculous innings from Dave Stiff (68 off 19 balls) that caught us cold.

“It’s been good to see the likes of Matty Swallow and Lachlan Doidge come through and play games.

“If you look at the Pudsey St Lawrence model, they’ve been successful by promoting from within.

“We didn’t win anything last season, but it was a good chance to look at the lads who are going to be part of our future.”

Brown is thinking long-term, explaining: “You always strive to challenge for the title, but we have to be realistic.

“We don’t have the budget to bring in an overseas player, and they’d possibly not want to rush over anyway, given the quarantine rules, and we tend to be mid-table.

“2018 was an aberration which nearly saw us relegated, but 2019 was pretty typical.

“We started well, and were in amongst it, but fell away from challenging for the title in the last six weeks or so.

“One of the issues for us has been a big turnover of players. Each season, we tend to have five or six new faces starting regularly.

“We want a core of players, because if you look at Hanging Heaton, Pudsey, Woodlands and Townville, they’re the ones who tend to be challenging, because they’ve had a similar group of lads there for years.

“We think our best chance this year is a decent cup run, as we’ve got several good bowling and batting options, and you need to rely on your whole team there, given how much you have to rotate the seamers and spinners in matches for example.

“So in 2021, provided it goes ahead, the Priestley Cup is probably our main target.”

As Brown alluded to, the Wagon Lane outfit have tried to maintain virtually the same squad as last year, but they have made a couple of exciting new additions.

The skipper revealed: “We’ve got a good attack, and know our seamers Jack Hartley and Yasir Abbas will do a good job up top for us.

“But we’ve brought in Reicko Parker-Cole. He trained with us last year and we liked the look of him. He’s a young left-arm swing bowler, who’s played second team cricket at Nottinghamshire.

“We’ve also signed a young right-hand batsman called Arjun Ramkumar from Wrenthorpe, who has been with Yorkshire’s academy.”

Both will be looking to make their debuts in B&B’s Premier Division opener at newly-promoted Morley, though Brown admitted that start date of April 17 is still up in the air at present, given teams cannot return to training until March 29.