OCKERT Erasmus will lead the Foster’s Lancashire League into battle this morning as they look to defend their Lookers Interleague Twenty20 title when the competition bursts into life for its third year.
The South African, who is professional with Accrington, captained the Lancashire League to victory 12 months ago when they beat the Northern League in some style at Nelson’s Seedhill.
And he captains a young and strong side today at Blackpool’s Stanley Park as the crown is put on the line.
Jonny Whitehead and Enfield’s Hassan Fazal have both been forced to withdraw but the likes of brilliant Nelson youngster Tyler McGladdery and Toxy Hussain get their first calls to the league team and there is also a debut for Enfield’s Liam Bedford.
The Lancashire League are involved in the day’s first game against the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, who pulled off a major shock to lift the trophy when it was introduced for the Preston Guild in 2012.
They are captained by Garstang’s experienced former Lancaster man Michael Walling, while Longridge duo Ian Simpson and Danny Wilkinson will also look to make their mark.
The second game of the day sees the Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League face the Chorley Building Society Northern League – and that match promises to be a cracker.
Read’s Kyle O’Connor skippers a Ribblesdale League side that includes the double threat of Great Harwood’s Stuart Maher and Baxenden skipper Gary Sudworth, who are involved in a battle to come out on top of the wickets taken list, while Padiham skipper Callum Clarke also features.
The Northern League start the day as favourites and are skippered by St Annes star Lukman Vahaluwala, while Morecambe’s Lewis Edge and Netherfield’s Australian Ben Phillips are both in prime form.
The side also includes classy Darwen duo Ammer Mirza and Kamran Anwar as they look to get their hands on the trophy for the first time.
Wickets are pitched at 10am for the first game before the Ribblesdale League meet the Northern League in the second match with the final expected to start at around 4.30pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £2 for concessions.