FRIAREMERE cricketer Craig Ramadhin has reached a landmark after completing 50 consecutive seasons playing for the club.
Though Craig has reached the age of 65 – he recently retired after 41 years as company accountant with Uppermill entertainment business Handshake Ltd – he is by no means finished with cricket.
“I have been thinking about retiring, but am keeping my options open,” explained the son of club president Sonny, the former West Indies Test legend.
“I still enjoy my cricket. The only trouble is that I have lost pace when bowling which makes it harder to beat the bat.”
Whatever happens, though, Craig will not be severing his links with Friarmere as he and club chairman John Morris will continue to work on the ground.
And Craig, who lives in Shaw, will also keep on umpiring in the Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL) on the days when he is not playing.
It has been quite a journey for Craig who has played for Friarmere in three leagues, Saddleworth, Pennine and latterly the GMCL.
Yet it was father Sonny, now aged 92 and living in Delph, who was instrumental in Craig joining Friarmere in 1972.
Craig, whose godfather was West Indies Test legend Frank Worrell, later Sir Frank, explained: “I began at Delph where I was too old for the juniors and couldn’t get into the first or second teams which were very strong at that time.
“Dad suggested going to Friarmere which I did and have remained through thick and thin.
“I have had a great time, made some good friends and great memories, especially of the tours we went on with our pro Ronnie Franklin organising a two-week one to Barbados.”
Craig described himself as a medium/quick bowler who could “bat a bit” in his pomp. Today he bowls medium/slow.
His greatest day with the ball came in 1985 when he claimed nine wickets for 12 runs against Greenfield who were bowled out for 39.
Craig scored one half century for the first team and his top score for the seconds was 70.
“I batted all season at number 10 for the first team and asked our captain to let me go higher for the last match of the season against Micklehurst. He let me open, and I scored 50,” he said.
It has not been 50 years laden with silverware though he won the Saddleworth League second team’s Moore Cup in 1977 and the league and Moore Cup double in 1979.
Craig has also played against his father in the Saddleworth League when Sonny was at Delph.
“I hit dad for four and then the next ball he got me out stumped,” he recalled.
And is another quirky family tale, Craig bowled nephew Kyle Hogg when he was aged 17, playing for Greenfield and before he became a top pro with Lancashire.