Woodlands’ tribute to retiring Sarfraz

Sarfraz Ahmed will bring the curtain down on a 16-year stint with Woodlands at the end of this season.
Sarfraz Ahmed will bring the curtain down on a 16-year stint with Woodlands at the end of this season.

Woodlands will celebrate the career of retiring overseas star Sarfraz Ahmed with a benefit game at Albert Terrace on Sunday (start 1pm).

Sarfraz is retiring at the end of this season having starred as Woodlands’ overseas player for an incredible 16 consecutive seasons.

During that time the fearsome opening bowler and hard-hitting middle order batsman has helped Woodlands win 11 trophies, including several Bradford League titles.

Woodlands stalwart Phil Godfrey has led a series of tributes to a player who has scored 4,497 Bradford League runs in 245 innings and taken 784 wickets during an incredible career with the Oakenshaw club.

Mr Godfrey said: “We have had many fine cricketers in our ranks but Saffy has been pivotal and quite literally head and shoulders above the rest.

“Some may argue that he has been the finest cricketer of his generation bar none.

“His self-effacing manner and humility have endeared him to all the players, officials and supporters with whom he has had contact.”

“His loyalty to Woodlands has been unquestionable. It is perhaps not widely known that he has received offers to play elsewhere from clubs in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Liverpool, Bolton, Lancashire, Huddersfield, Central Yorkshire, the Yorkshire League, Bradford and elsewhere.

“In most cases the terms offered to him were more lucrative than here but he has always chosen to stay with us, saying that ‘Woodlands is my club’.”

Sarfraz will bid to help secure one final piece of silverware to bring the curtain down on a wonderful career when Woodlands meet reigning champions Pudsey St Lawrence in the Priestley Cup final at Spen Victoria on Sunday, August 28.