Cricket: Bow to the Bishops of Adwick-le-Street

The cricketing Bishops: Colin Bishop (third left), aged 50, with his brother Paul (right), aged 47, and his sons Luke (left), aged 21 and Liam, aged 24, at the Adwick cricket ground, where they play.
The cricketing Bishops: Colin Bishop (third left), aged 50, with his brother Paul (right), aged 47, and his sons Luke (left), aged 21 and Liam, aged 24, at the Adwick cricket ground, where they play.

Such are the tactical demands of cricket, the sport is often referred to as being like a game of chess.

Anyone familiar with chess will be only too well aware of the danger posed by the two bishops.

It is the same when rival teams take on high-flying Adwick-le-Street in the South Yorkshire Cricket Alliance.

Only more so as there are four of them – brothers Paul and Colin and the latter’s two sons Liam and Luke, both in their early 20s.

Paul, 47, and Colin, 50, have been the mainstays of the team for many years and between them picked up numerous awards.

The two brothers set a Doncaster League record for an opening partnership when making 189 against Parklands in the 1980s.

Paul’s more attacking style has secured him 15 career centuries whereas Colin – more of an anchor man – boasts around half that figure.

This will be the last season the two brothers will play together as Colin – who had an artificial hip fitted several years ago – has decided to retire due to mobility problems.

But Liam, who won the Alliance wicketkeeping award last season, and Luke, an aggressive batsman who topped the 2011 Evening League batting averages, look set to continue to make Colin’s side of the family proud.

Both are products of the club’s junior section which Colin helped set up years ago.

“We are reaping the rewards as there are one or two players coming through into the first team every year,” said Paul. “Which is great because they are all getting stuck in and also taking responsibility.

“We had to disband our second team a couple of years ago because we didn’t quite have enough players to field two sides on a regular basis.

“But as well as the juniors, we’ve also managed to attract some other players to the club, despite the facilities, and we are going to reform the team next season.”

The lack of facilities at their Adwick Park base has meant that the club have been unable to follow numerous other Doncaster sides into the more prestigious Yorkshire Council.

But Paul is adamant that the club would still have remained loyal to the Doncaster League and the Alliance had that not been the case.

“The likes of (officials) Maurice Gilliat and Ashley Boothman are unsung heroes. They work so hard and they deserve a lot of praise and support,” he said.

Likewise, the two brothers have never considered leaving Adwick, despite no shortage of interest over the years.