A HOST of Bradford cricketers and commentators have shared their memories of a prestigious annual event in the sport for a new book.

The Scarborough Cricket Festival has been held in the seaside town since 1876, first at Castle Hill and its current North Marine Road sites.

Now it is a popular location for one of Yorkshire’s four-day County Championship games, when they entertain Nottinghamshire between August 18 and 21, with guest houses packed months in advance of the August fixture.

The game’s greats have graced the event, including Don Bradman, who scored 153 in his last-ever innings in England.

Such memories have been compiled in ‘Last of the Summer Wickets - Tales from the Scarborough Cricket Festival’ written by cricket journalist and author John Fuller.

A Bradford Cricket League legend has shared his childhood living in the North Yorkshire town during the Festival.

Ian Philliskirk, who now captains Lightcliffe but has previously played for Baildon, Yeadon and Farsley and reached 10,000 runs in the league last season, recalls helping to operate the ground’s scoreboard as a boy.

He added remembering a West Indies batsman hitting a huge shot while playing there in a tour match for his country. Philliskirk said: “The legend had it that Carl Hooper hit one into the sea in 1991, but that’s not been verified.”

Meanwhile, Bradford-born former England and Yorkshire all-rounder Anthony McGrath remembers playing at Scarborough during his career which ran between 1995 and 2012.

In the book, McGrath said: “Scarborough’s one of my favourite grounds in England, second only to Lord’s. I’ve always loved going, I watched as a youngster and then got to play there.”

He made his Yorkshire playing debut against the West Indies at North Marine Road in September 1995. He even top-scored for the White Rose in 1996 with 106 in a three-wicket win over a Tesco International XI in the McCain Challenge.

But perhaps a less popular victory was when he returned with his current county, Essex, as assistant coach in 2017, putting this down, in part, to his local knowledge.

Views of the festival from the commentary box also have a Bradford perspective.

Baildon-born broadcaster John Helm, a former Bradford League player himself, recalls covering the Festival when he moved to Yorkshire Television in 1981.

Helm remembers newly-retired Geoffrey Boycott joining him in the Festival’s commentary box: “I’ll never forget he came in wearing a canary yellow suit, he got enormous stick from the crowd as he walked round.

“Ian Botham was batting and what we didn’t know was he had a bet that he’d hit the ball into the gantry. He did. He hit this massive six straight down the ground into the commentary box.

“We’ve still got the recording of Boycott, leaping out of the way, screaming, as an unexpected piece of red leather came hurtling towards him.”

‘Last of the Summer Wickets’ by John Fuller is out now. For more information, go to ypbookoffer.co.uk or call 01274 735056.