YORK Cricket Club head into a crucial weekend of cricket without up-and-coming Yorkshire batsman Jack Leaning, writes Matthew Graves.
Leaning will no longer be released to play in a York shirt due to his eye-catching performances in first-class cricket for the tabletopping Headingley county.
The Heworth-based boy wonder has put together a solid run of form, including two substantial half-centuries, a 99 and a 76.
He has earned himself a consistent average of 26.77 on the professional stage, to go with the lowest bowling economy (2.17) in the Yorkshire squad in this season’s County Championship.
The former Archbishop Holgate’s School student has played 38 games for York, scoring more than 2,000 runs.
Having scored 14 half-centuries and seven centuries, he averages 78.25 for the Clifton Parkers.
He has hit 230 boundaries while playing for the Minstermen, and has scored nearly a quarter of York’s runs when he has batted.
York travel to fourth-placed Doncaster Town in the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League tomorrow for their first weekend without Leaning as a squad member.
Captain Dan Woods said: “We’re very much looking forward to it.
“It’s always a very tough and competitive game against Doncaster. They’re a strong side in general, with plenty of depth.”
Charlie Elliot is also out of the game and will be replaced by Richard Pineo as York attempt to chase down leaders Yorkshire Academy, who are five points clear of seven-time champions York.
On catching the Academy, Woods said: “We need to give our best and continue to win every game.
“We’re just taking one game at a time; there’s plenty of time left this season.”
York then host Chesterfield, weather-permitting, on Sunday in the last 16 of the Royal London ECB National Club Championship.
The game has already been rained off twice and Woods said: “It’s a game we want to play.
“I’m not sure what happens (if it’s washed out), it could be a reduced overs match or a bowl out.
“I’d much prefer to re-arrange and play the full amount of overs, though.”
Victory for York on Sunday would set up a quarter-final encounter with Chorley, putting them three wins away from regaining the trophy they won in 2012.