A CHANCE net session at their Dark Lane ground for a former Pakistan Test captain ended up with Cawthorne signing an international cricketer who helped them to two big wins this week.

Sarfaraz Ahmad – who has played 54 Test matches and 117 One Day Internationals up until last year – visited and then recommended Danish Aziz, who played two ODIs for Pakistan in 2021, to join the Barnsley club.

Cawthorne captain Mike Jepps said: “Sarfaraz was in Wakefield on holiday and he was looking to net somewhere.

“He came to us because he knows our player Amir Shahzad.

“He was impressed with our ground and we must have bowled well at him because he loved it.

“Sarfaraz said, if he didn’t get a contract in Pakistan, he would come over and be our overseas himself.

“That would have been a big signing.

“But he recommended Danish Aziz.

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“We said ‘he’s not going to come, he’s on the fringe of the Pakistan squad again and playing a lot over there’. But we were assured he wanted to come.

“He’s bowled better and better each game and he’s getting used to English wickets.

“He gives me a lot of control in the middle overs.

“He hasn’t got going with the bat yet. But, as the wickets harden up, he could win us a game from any position.

“He played six games in the Manchester League and scored 198 in one of them.

“We think he could be similar to Jake Weatherald for Barnsley last season.”

Cawthorne took eight wickets for three runs as they skittled Shiregreen for 47 in a ten-wicket ECB Yorkshire Premier South win on Saturday.

The hosts were 44 for two but lost five batters for ducks.

Ben Cliff – the Yorkshire 2nd XI bowler – took five for four and Aziz four for nine.

Jepps said: “We were delighted to get our first 12 points of the league season.

“We know some games will be tougher than others

“Shiregreen finished second behind us last season in the Championship so we knew 12 points would be important against them.

“It was a good toss to win on a soft wicket. We bowled and fielded really well.

“We made light work of it and were finished at ten to three.

“It all happened very quickly.

“I was tempted to open with Ben but I wanted our opening pair to have a spell after no pre-season.

“Then Ben came on and bowled brilliantly.”

Cawthorne then won by eight wickets chasing 179 at Pudsey Congs in the Heavy Woollen Cup on Sunday.

Aziz took three wickets and there were five for Liam Wiles who then secured the win with 103 off 87 balls including 13 fours and four sixes.

“It was another soft wicket.

“They batted quite well but we pulled it back. We made very light work of the total. It was a very impressive performance, especially by Liam

“We’re away at Woodhouse Grange or Barnsley next.”

Barnsley Woolley Miners made it two defeats from as many league games this season as they went down by five wickets at Whitley Hall.

They were bowled out for 133 with last man Usman Khan top-scoring with 43.

Barnsley then lost at South Northumberland in the ECB National Cup.

The Shaw Laners made 193, with Ciaran Stenton hitting 51, but the hosts won with six wickets and six overs left.

Elsecar were removed for 92 in a nine-wicket home loss to Sheffield Collegiate.