Yorkshire League preview: All change at Sheffield United, Doncaster Town and Barnsley ahead of new cricket season

New Sheffield United skipper Lesroy Weekes
New Sheffield United skipper Lesroy Weekes
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The Yorkshire Premier League enters its final season before the much-heralded ECB enforced change, which will introduce promotion and relegation throughout the four areas of the County and put in place a pyramid system in 2016.

The much-loved current format was inaugurated in April 1935 and has provided countless Test and county players, and given thousands of club players the opportunity of playing on the very best grounds in the county with top class umpires, good administrators, and in the best spirit.

Sadly, Scarborough have dropped out of the final season, which leaves Sheffield Collegiate without an opening day fixture this weekend. But Sheffield United have made several changes to their squad and are confident of achieving much better results.

Lesroy Weekes will captain the club and the experienced all-rounder has been joined by South African wicketkeeper/batsman Jaco Scholtz as the club’s overseas player.

Left arm quick and batsman Shazad Ahmad has joined from Surrey, together with batsman Suliman Salim from Cheadle and former junior Kieran Dinneage. Harrogate have lost several players, including captain Ryan Bradshaw, and Weekes will be confident of a points return on the opening day.

Rotherham have lost skipper Nathan Smith and Ollie Jackson, both joining up-and-coming Conisborough, and new captain Mark Cummins will be anxious to get off to a winning start at Castleford who will, again, be reliant on junior players.

Doncaster Town have lost their talisman Simon Widdup who, after constantly doing the business with bat and ball for years, has joined Notts Premier League outfit Wellbeck.

Also leaving is allrounder Curtis Free who has joined Cleckheaton. Some consolation for Town is the return of allrounder Luke Townsend after several seasons at Elsecar.

Barnsley visit Champions York and although Nathan Fern has left Shaw Lane, promising paceman James Brown has signed from Whitley Hall as a competent replacement.

The existing league rules apply for the final season before implementation of the new set in 2016.

n Fixtures (12pm): Castleford v Rotherham, Doncaster v YCA, Driffield v Cleethorpes, Harrogate v Uninted, Hull v App Frod, York v Barnsley.