BOLTON League legend Steve Dublin is back looking to win a title, this time as a coach.
The man once said by West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards to be the hardest hitter of a cricket ball he had ever seen, is helping Bury in the Bolton Association.
And the Radcliffe Road club’s captain Simon Belston said the former Kearsley star – who once scored 48 runs in a single over playing for them in the 1995 Hamer Cup semi-final – has made a huge immediate impact.
Dublin, now aged 46, is a well-known figure in local cricketing circles, best known for his five seasons at Springfield Road between 1993 and 1997 as well as another season in 2003.
Among a glut of other clubs he also played in the Bolton League for Tonge (1990 and 91), Westhoughton (1999), Farnworth SC for a spell in 2000 and in the Manchester Association for Bury in 2001 and 2002.
“After our first season in the Bolton Association last year we knew we needed someone to galvanise us at certain times during the campaign,” said Belston whose side go into tomorrow’s home game against Daisy Hill top of the table by five points. “We gradually worked our way down the league last year after a good start and finished seventh.
“If we took anything out of our first year in the Association it is we needed someone who knows what it takes to see through the season, someone who has won trophies, titles and games; and he has done it.
“He’s been massive for us, monumental. We go a long way back and I knew other clubs were talking to him so I had to act quickly to get him.
“And it’s paying off for us – his influence has been there for all to see.
“It’s been important to have him around at training and on matchdays, and it was great after we won at Flixton (last week) and he said we had made him massively proud. “For someone like Dublin to say that, someone everyone looks up to and respects, is massive for us. The amount of work he does around the club at senior training is something the club has missed for a long time.
“With him on board to steer us we are in good hands.
“I have been skipper for six or seven years and he takes a lot off me and lets me concentrate on my cricket.”
And what about the chances of seeing the big West Indian back on the cricket pitch?
“I have talked to him about it, but he is having none of it,” said Belston. “He is comfortable on the sidelines.”