Don’t be surprised if Mirfield Parish Cavaliers ruffle a few feathers in the Jedi Sports Championship this summer.

The club romped to the Cedar Court Conference title last season, losing just one match in their first season as members of the Drakes.

And the great news for Wellhouse Lane followers is that Nazar Hussain is back for a fourth successive season, having first played for Parish in the Central Yorkshire League.

The first-class Pakistani player from State Bank, who will be 29 this season, won the Conference bowling prize last year with 67 wickets at a miserly 9.64, and he finished sixth in the divisional batting averages – hitting 633 runs at 52.75.

Those averages were topped by skipper Tim Orrell, the former Lancashire batsman who piled up 989 runs at 61.81.

Parish have recruited former Altofts opening batsman Washid and all-rounder Danny Broadbent from Birstall, bolstering a batting line-up which is already strong as Terence James also topped 600 runs last season at better than 46.00.

Parish have also signed experienced wicketkeeper Graham Richardson from Altofts, a stalwart of the Central Yorkshire League who lives in York.

“With the quality we have we’d have been pretty disappointed not to go up last season and now we are looking forward to a new challenge,” explained chairman Ken Wharton.

“We expect it to be tougher, naturally, but we are aiming to be very competitive, to maybe surprise a few people and certainly to consolidate ourselves – that would be the initial target.

“As a club, we are looking to build solidly, with a sensible budget, and maintain as much momentum as possible from last season, with the same excellent spirit we enjoyed throughout.”

The return of Hussain is a massive boost. Orrell, who will be 50 later this year, rates him highly.

Tim Orrell batting for Mirfield Parish

After their title success, Orrell said of his teammate: “Naz is a quality overseas and one of the lads.

“We expect a lot of him but he is a real 100% player, and I reckon he is a little bit too good at times.

“Everyone expects him to be knocking the stumps all over the place all the time, but he bowls some really good lines and lengths and he produces some absolutely beautiful deliveries which, to be honest, first-class batsmen wouldn’t touch either.

“With the bat he’s a left-hander and strikes the ball really nicely, so he’s a quality all-round cricketer and you wouldn’t meet a nicer lad, so he fits in really well with us and takes all the stick that gets thrown at him from his teammates!”

Almondbury Wesleyans – promoted alongside Parish – have signed Bryn Jenkins and Ash Smith.

The Conference runners-up have moved to strengthen as they hope to make an impact at the higher level – they were relegated from the second tier the previous season and have bounced back.

Shelley and Elland, relegated from the top flight, will be hoping to follow the Wesleyan model by bouncing back, but they will face strong competition from Meltham – who missed out on promotion last season only on run average – and Rastrick (who entertain Mirfield Parish on the opening day) who have recruited batsman Ovais Hussain, who topped 500 runs for Shelley in the top flight last season.

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Shelley, however, have picked up Nick Sharp from Kirkburton and Khuram Sajjad, who scored over 500 runs for Birkby Rose Hill last summer.

Slaithwaite, fifth last year, will be hoping to challenge having signed Conor Woodruff from Broad Oak – though Woodruff is believed to have suffered an ankle injuiry prior to the start of the season – and Abdul Rehman, who hit 551 runs for Birkby Rose Hill last term.

Linthwaite will be aiming to improve on sixth spot and have taken Qaiser Rashid from Denby and Wajid Hussain from Birkby Rose Hill, where he had 468 runs in 2016.

Lascelles Hall, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, have signed batsman William Simpson from Thame (he’s the brother of Matthew and son of Keith), and they have also landed Zahed Ahmed from Linthwaite.

Opening day fixtures:

Premiership: Armitage Bridge v Thongsbridge, Barkisland v Golcar, Honley v Shepley, Kirkburton v Delph & Dobcross, Moorlands v Hoylandswaine, Scholes v Broad Oak, Skelmanthorpe v Cawthorne.

Jedi Sports Championship: Almondbury Wes v Clayton West, Elland v Meltham, Lascelles Hall v Holmfirth, Linthwaite v Kirkheaton, Rastrick v Mirfield Parish Cavaliers, Shelley v Slaithwaite.

Cedar Court Conference: Almondbury v Thurstonland, Birkby Rose Hill v Denby Dale, Denby v Lepton Highlanders, Marsden v Cumberworth, Mirfield v Emley, Upperthong v Hall Bower.