Former Pakistan cricketer Naeem Ashraf has been named Clitheroe’s First XI captain next season.

Ashraf who has been a long standing servant of the Ribblesdale League as a professional at Cherry Tree and coach at Blackburn Northern and Clitheroe, takes over from the departed league-winning skipper Peter Dibb.

The hard-hitting left-hander will have a significant challenge on his hands to match the achievements of his predecessor, especially with the loss of talented youngsters Jack Dewhurst and Tim Le Breton.

Ashraf says he is hoping to build from within and look to use his experience to develop the talents of some of the club’s other young players and hope to build a side that will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years time.

He said: “I realise that losing key players is always difficult but it is the nature of sport.

“I wish the departed lads well and hopefully one day they may return to Clitheroe.

“You just have to get on with the players that you have and get the very best out of them. Hopefully I can guide the lads and we can build a team.

“It will take time but there is enough young talent here to feel optimistic. I accept that it won’t happen overnight but what other team wouldn’t feel the loss of three key players.

“We are looking to the future and trying not to look back. What we achieved last year is history. We are focusing on next season.

“As league champions, everybody will be out to beat us. We have to be ready for that.”