Heywood will field a team of talented young players for their first pre-season match against Lancashire under-19s at Crimble – including two of the best young players outside of the town.
Brothers Greg and Scott Butterworth, both playing for Rochdale this season, will be part of a side that will feature captain Bobby Cross and Danny Pawson as over-age players, as well as the likes of Joe Lovell, Ross Zelem, Humza Naeem and Andy Dawson.
If conditions hold up for the Easter Monday game – the wicket for the match is well under-way – it should provide a good test for both sides and give the local players a chance to impress the Lancashire hierarchy.
Cross, who will most probably captain the side, said: “I know that this game comes a bit early, but our artificial nets have been made ready for use so any players who want to get in some practice beforehand can do so.
“I think it is a great opportunity for our young players to measure themselves against some of the best in the county at that age and to get a feel for the standards expected by Lancashire.
“Several of our team will have already been through that system or be aspiring to get into it and it will only stand them in good stead moving forward.”
Greg Butterworth impressed everyone at Crimble last season in Rochdale’s four wicket defeat of Heywood. He took 2-45 off 15 overs with his slow left-armers, then scored an invaluable 39, adding 106 in partnership with pro Malinda Warnapura as Rochdale chased down Heywood’s target of 158 in a rain-reduced clash.
His brother Scott returns to Redbrook after a stint at Stand.
Heywood follow this friendly with clashes against Bury (1st XI followed by 2nd XI) and then a home fixture with Enfield before for the season starts on Sunday 14 April with a trip to Middleton.
The Lancashire under-19s fixture is the first of a number of Lancashire games to be staged at Crimble this season.
- Heywood XI Cruise To Opening Day Victory At Freezing Crimble
- Heywood Look Back With Regret As Another Game Slips Through Their Fingers
- Heywood Must Wait For Fate After T20 Thriller At Redbrook
- Kaye And Townsend Steal Show As Rochdale Are Hammered
- Heywood Struggle Again As Rochdale Ease To Second Win In 24 Hours
- Heywood Set Testing Target Of 159 In Tough Conditions
- Lovell And Hunt Star Turns In Taylor Cup Triumph
- Pawson Sets Tone For Heywood CC’s Fourth Win In A Row
- Early Friendly For Heywood CC
- Weekend Preview: Cross Challeneges Heywood To Keep Momentum Going