TWO cricketers from Clitheroe have been selected by the MCC for a prestigious tour to Finland.
Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League leaders Clitheroe have been honoured by the selection of opening bowler Josh Marquet and club stalwart Neil Bolton for the tour, which saw them fly out of the country yesterday.
Bolton, who has recently been playing for Clitheroe 4XI, and Marquet, who is still a key member of Paul Gaskell’s squad, will be in action this afternoon when they face the Finland national team in a Twenty20.
They also play a Cricket Finland Chairman’s XI tomorrow before a 50-over match with the Danish U19s on Sunday and another T20 against Finland on Tuesday.
All matches on the tour will be played at the Kerava National Cricket Ground, which has recently finished a period of renovation which will end with the official opening of its new pavilion before the final tour match.
The absence of Marquet means Clitheroe go into tomorrow’s derby with Read short-handed on the bowling front.
But skipper Gaskell believes his unbeaten leaders are heading in the right direction, especially after last weekend’s stunning win at Cherry Tree when professional Janaka Gunaratne smashed a stunning double hundred.
And the trip to Whalley Road is one that Gaskell is relishing.
“They are always good games,” he said. “We have both been there or thereabouts in recent years and that adds a little to it.
“But the main thing is for us to go into the match with the same attitude we have been showing.
“We got off to a slow start and have been getting better and we are playing okay at the moment.
“But we can’t get carried away because there are a lot of matches to come.”
Ribblesdale Wanderers have also a man in their ranks who has been playing on a higher stage this week.
Brannon Varley hit 65 to help the British Army beat the RAF and win the Inter-Services Twenty20 Championship at Lord’s this week - but he is back on home soil at Church Meadow tomorrow as Settle visit.
Baxenden welcome winless Brooksbottom to Back Lane, while Brinscall host Barnoldswick and Cherry Tree look to mark the death of club stalwart Alan Robinson with a big display at Euxton.
Padiham host Whalley and Salesbury welcome Edenfield to Ribchester Road.
The day’s other match sees Earby heading to Oswaldtwistle Immanuel desperate to put their nightmare of last Sunday behind them.
Richard Craddock’s men, who boated a 100 per cent record ahead of their game with Euxton, were stunned as they collapsed to just 34 all out.
There is also Twenty20 action tonight with Clitheroe hosting Whalley and Ribblesdale Wanderers welcoming Settle to Church Meadow for the first of two games.
Padiham host Read, Salesbury go to Great Harwood, Cherry Tree are at Brinscall and Feniscowles entertain Euxton.