Star names aplenty for anniversary bash

INTERNATIONAL STAR: Alexandra Hartley, who has joined Clitheroe CC
INTERNATIONAL STAR: Alexandra Hartley, who has joined Clitheroe CC

A LANCASHIRE cricketing legend will help mark Clitheroe Cricket Club’s final game of their 150th anniversary season.

Spin bowler “Flat” Jack Simmons will return to Chatburn Road on Sunday as legends of the games take on the newly-formed ladies’ team.

The ladies will look to counter Simmons’ spin with their own rising international star, Alex Hartley, and former Lancashire junior cricketer Haley Driver.

Alex is delighted to have joined Clitheroe, and said: “Girls cricket here with Bill Smith, Haley Driver, Jon Harvey and Mal Scott teaching them is fantastic.

“The cricket section has backed the formation of a ladies’ team 100%, and we’re really looking forward to playing in the Lancashire Ladies’ League next year.”

Simmons was a member of the hugely successful Lancashire team in the 1970s and 1980s that dominated one-day cricket, and also featured Clive Lloyd, David Hughes, Peter Lever and David Lloyd.

A Wisden player of the year in 1984, he turned out for Tasmania too – playing against Australian state sides with Lillee, Thompson, Border and Ian and Greg Chappell.

He began his cricket playing for Enfield in the Ribblesdale League, and then as a professional at Baxenden and Padiham.

He didn’t start playing for Lancashire until 1967, at the age of 28, but was there into his late 40s.

The Gentlemen of Clitheroe will be captained by Malcolm Blackburn MBE, who played for Clitheroe in a career spanning more than 50 years, and which featured a stint with Uganda (top scoring with 97 not out in a test match against Kenya).

The side also contains former Blackburn Rovers player Chris Sims, the Rector of St James’ Church, the Rev. Mark Pickett, Farouk Hussain (cricket TV presenter and chairman of the Clitheroe Cobras) Jon Harvey (professional cricketer and the Under 13 girls’ manager) and club stalwarts Dr Bill Smith (girls’ team manager), Andy Lang, Malcolm Scott (girls’ coach), Roger Banks, Josh Marquet (former Australian fast bowler) and Alec Rigby.

The match will use the Pro40 format and starts at 1 p.m.