Former Huddersfield cricketer and local radio presenter Andrew Crawshaw believes the Huddersfield Cricket League is as competitive as ever with local lads being given more of a chance.
Due to Coronavirus, teams in the league haven’t had the opportunity to recruit county cricketers and overseas stars. However Andrew hopes now that restrictions have been lifted that teams don’t go back to leaving local players behind.
He said: “We can’t thank Covid-19 for much but in a way it has helped the title race become closer because Hoylandswaine haven’t been able to recruit players out of the area. They have had to recruit differently recently.
“Once restrictions are lifted, if we go back to clubs who have the ability to once again recruit from anywhere, I don’t think that’s a good thing.
“The local lads have been given a chance and it’s made for a closer league for one but also that makes it more entertaining. You haven’t got a side full of county cricketers and overseas players demolishing a team with mostly local lads in it.
“Over the last 18 months the overseas players haven’t been able to get over here to play. Clubs have had to rely on the local lads stepping up a bit more.
“Over the years some clubs have had these overseas players and they can make a huge difference to your team’s chances of winning something. So I do think with that option not being available it has made the league closer.
“To back that point up, bottom of the league Mirfield Parish beat Hoylandswaine.”
Crawshaw, 70, is a former HuddersfieldFM/PennineFM broadcaster who was at the station throughout its 10 year existence between 1999 and 2009.
As well as his cricketing knowledge, Crawshaw commentated on Huddersfield Town fixtures both home and away.
Having been a fan since 1968, Crawshaw saw close up one of the most volatile periods in the Terriers’ history.
One of the forthright presenter’s favourite moments was the League Two play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2004.
On his Town commentating days and that final in particular, Crawshaw said: “I was just doing reports from the stadium and then we started to do commentaries. I then invented this phone-in show for the station called Terrier Talk and it took off. Plus we would then do the commentary and a phone-in show afterwards.
“My style was to be truthful about things going on in the club. I had no problems telling it as it was.
“I used to have this thing about corner kicks being irrelevant, simply because professional footballers couldn’t take one. I once suggested that Town didn’t practice corners. Well that got me into trouble!
“The bits I really remember were the takeover by Barry Rubery, the good times under him and then the demise. I remember Ken Davy coming in and saving the club from going out of existence.
“The game I most recall is the play-off final in Cardiff in 2004 when we beat Mansfield on penalties. It was great fun being there and obviously better that Town won.”
Crawshaw’s favourite sport though by far is cricket. The former Almondbury player has a lot to say about the current state of the game. He insists that Test cricket is being left behind.
He said: “Where should Test cricket be in this country? It should be at number one and it isn’t. Test cricket is what cricket should be about.
“The thing about 100 ball cricket and T20 is that it has helped people get into cricket. You do see large crowds going to watch these games because they are fast and exciting particularly for youngsters. At the moment Test cricket is not getting the crowds in.”