Cricket: New book charts history of Doncaster League

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The Doncaster and District Cricket League would have celebrated reaching 100 not out this year had it not pulled up the stumps in 2010, writes Steve Hossack.

With membership of the league having dwindled in recent years – due mainly to clubs switching to the Yorkshire Council – the league decided to call it a day, amalgamate with the Sheffield League and form the South Yorkshire Alliance in 2011.

It wasn’t quite the end of the Doncaster League and the Herbert Foster Trophy, contested by the previous season’s section winners, still took place in 2011.

A History Of The Doncaster & District Cricket League 1912-2012, by Malcolm Driver, is as much a tribute to the various long-serving officials as the exploits of the teams and players.

Malcolm worked closely with league officials, who provided him with unrestricted access to records and minutes of meetings, in compiling the book.

Malcolm is well placed to write about the league having played for Hatfield Town for more than 30 years as well as Barnby Dun in the latter stages of his career.

The all-rounder even features in the book which details hundreds of facts and figures, topping the League One batting averages in 1967 and the 1992 Division One bowling averages.

The first book on the league, which covered the first 39 years was published in 1951 to coincide with the Festival of Britain.

Having previously written a book marking Hatfield Town’s centenary, Malcolm set to work on covering the next 50 years of the Doncaster League in the 1990s.

“The original idea was to do a book from 1951-2001 and it was all set to be published at that time,” said Malcolm.

“But with it being near to the league’s centenary it was decided to carry on until that time, unfortunately it didn’t quite reach that landmark.”

Among a number of interesting articles is a chapter on Doncaster League players who went on to play County cricket or Test cricket.

Johnny Wardle, who became the first bowler to take a 100 wickets in a season, is also featured.

An initial run of 200 books (priced £6) have been printed and further details can be obtained from Ashley Boothman on (01302) 787138.