This season is going to be a bit of an unknown for Clitheroe in the Lancashire League, according to new skipper Peter Dibb.
The 32-year-old, who has previously captained the club to Ribblesdale Cricket League glory, has inherited a young squad at Chatburn Road and, while he’s excited by the potential, he accepts that this season will be a stepping stone.
Clitheroe fielded three teenagers in their 35-run win over Norden in their opener, with Harry Lang, Charlie Dewhurst and Eli Smith all named in the XI while Sam Mulligan remains in contention for a call up.
“I’m really enjoying it,” said Dibb. “We’ve got a good, young team and a good set of lads. That makes everything a little bit easier.
“I don’t think any other clubs in the Lancashire League will be fielding as many under 19s as us. It’s good for the future of the club, there’s a lot of talent.
“I think we’ll have a better idea of where we’re at if we can win our first three games and pick up a bit of momentum. We’ve got a young side so it could go either way.
“We could shock a few people or our consistency could fall away. This season is a bit of a stepping stone but we’re not going to worry about who we play. We’ll aim to win every game.”
Clitheroe were in a spot of bother at the weekend when collapsing to 48-5, with professional Suraj Randiv hitting 26, but Dibb led by example to get his side back on track.
The captain was last man out when firing 56, including four fours and a six, as the home side finished up on 213.
Thomas Lord hit 23 from 22 balls in adding 33 with his skipper and Bilal Ahmed celebrated his return to the club with 46 from 55 balls, adding 73 with Dibb. Teenager Smith also made 25 from 18 balls. Randiv took 4-35 to restrict Norden’s reply while Lang chipped in with 3-38.
“The standard is very good, it’s going to be a tough top division,” said Dibb. “We’ve got to be realistic about where we are, we’re building a team that will hopefully conquer again in two or three years time.
“I got more and more confident with each pre-season game we played and we won on Sunday against a good side. The pro looks like a really good player, he works well with the lads and he’ll drag us forward.
“We were staring down the barrel a little bit but we managed to get 200-plus. As a bowling side we are quite strong and we know that sides will struggle to beat us if we can get a competitive total.”