BRADFORD'S Gordon Rigg Cricket League will make its long-awaited return today, after months away.

The division's sides will kick off the campaign with no spectators unfortunately, however fans are expected to return in May.

Ahead of the new season, teams have returned to training and are gearing up for some competitive cricket, with promotion and relegation returning to the leagues' usual format.

In the Premier Division, Bradford and Bingley travel to Morley on the opening weekend in a standout fixture, while Cleckheaton travel to New Farnley and league favourites Woodlands, travel to Town Ville.

In Division 1, Keighley take on Bankfoot and in Division 2, Buttershaw St Paul's take on Scholes in a local derby.

With preparations well under-way, the excitement is building ahead of a much-anticipated campaign, and one man who is looking forward to the return of cricket, is Cleckheaton captain Mally Nicholson.

Speaking to the T&A, Nicholson said: "Hopefully after last season, we can get back to some normality. We are really looking forward to the campaign beginning.

"It's been a difficult time for everyone and cricket returning will be good for many.

Discussing his sides' aspirations, Nicholson said: "After a difficult year last year and as it's our first full season together, ideally we would like to target a top four spot. That would be a good achievement for us.

"We've signed a few new players and we are looking like we've got a very good squad. We are just waiting for the overseas player to be confirmed, but when the date is confirmed for when he can come over, that will strengthen us even more.

"Overall, I think we are looking pretty good."

Another player who's excited for competitive cricket to return, is Bradford and Bingley captain Ed Brown, whose side will face off with Cleckheaton in the Premier Division.

Brown said: "I'm ridiculously excited. I think we were a little bit uncertain when the roadmap of the league got released, so there was a little bit of apprehension, but now that we're into it, we're all set to go.

"I'm confident that we've got a decent side. Seeing the new signings out on the pitch last weekend in our friendly game was great. It was good to see them in a game situation and it proved that we've acquired some good players.

"It's given me more confidence about going into the new season. We'd like to win it but we've got to be realistic that we've got quite a young side, but we will certainly fight for the title.

After months away stuck in lockdown, Brown believes it's vital that cricket has returned.

"From the mental perspective, it's huge and we needed this."