BOWLER James Richards will line up for Ashington Cricket Club in Saturday’s top of the table clash at Ryton with an extra incentive.
Twenty-one-year-old Richards, who has just graduated at Northumbria University in Newcastle, is looking to grab an unexpected first team opportunity with both hands.
Jonathon Sadler’s unfortunate double leg break sustained in the away defeat at Ponteland recently, which could ultimately rule him out for the season, has provided a challenge for Richards, pictured, to establish himself in the side – which he said he fully intends to do.
The youngster by his own admission had a ‘torrid’ first season with the club last term.
And whilst he is full of sympathy for the unfortunate Sadler, he is aiming to prove himself worthy of a place in the first team
“Last year I snapped the ligaments in my wrist at the beginning of the campaign then snapped the ligaments in my ankle half way through,” he said.
“It wasn’t perfect timing, and to be honest it was a torrid season.
“But I’m back in the swing this season and have played a couple of cup games – and got wickets.
“I’ve mainly been with the second XI but recently when the first team were at Ponteland and had a few unavailabilities, including pace bowler Surya Rathore, I was called up.
“I was happy with the way I performed although I didn’t get a wicket.
“Jonathon’s unfortunate injury is obviously not the way I would have liked to stake a claim in the first XI, but it has nevertheless opened up a chance for me to play a run of games.
“Now I hope to settle in, prove myself and take things from there.”
Skipper Greg Williams, who saw last weekend’s A2 division clash at Backworth called off due to the weatherd said: “James suffered a few knocks last season but has come on a lot working continuously under the guidance of Stuart Tiffin in the nets.
“Now he has this opportunity to do the business and I’m sure he will be fired up.”
Meanwhile, Sadler apart, Williams should be able to announce a full strength side for the visit to league leaders Ryton on Saturday.
“It’s a massive game for us and we’ll be trying to gain some points on them,” said Williams.
“We are third and if we can beat the teams around us then we’ll do ok.
“The weather has been a total nightmare recently but we’ll be trying to train a couple of times this week and get a bit of form into our game before Saturday.”