Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League
50 over game
First edition1903
Tournament formatFour divisions
Number of teams49
Current championWoodlands
Most successfulBradford, Pudsey St Lawrence (10 titles each)
Most runsRichard Robinson (16,352)[1]
Most wicketsDavid Batty (1,823)[2]

The Bradford Premier League (currently known as the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League for sponsorship reasons) is an amateur cricket competition centred in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It has been described as "arguably England's strongest amateur competition."[3]. This is despite most people being aware that top clubs have player wage bills in the 5 figure brackets.

The league is structured into four divisions. Many teams are from Bradford, with others from neighbouring towns across West Yorkshire.

The league was renamed the Bradford Premier League in 2016, upon the merger of the Bradford Cricket League and the Central Yorkshire League, and since 2016 it has been a designated ECB Premier League. Since 2016, the winners qualify to take part in the Yorkshire Championship, together with the winners of the Yorkshire Premier League North and the Yorkshire South Premier League, and the leading Yorkshire club in the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League. Hanging Heaton won the Yorkshire Championship in 2017, the only team from the Bradford League to do so thus far.

The teams in the Premier Division for 2020 were intended to be: Batley, Bradford and Bingley, Cleckheaton, Farsley, Hanging Heaton, Methley, Morley, New Farnley, Pudsey St Lawrence, Townville, Woodlands, and Wrenthorpe.

The 2020 competition was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A replacement competition was arranged for the later part of the season when cricket again became possible, but with its winners not to be regarded as official league champions.


The Bradford Cricket League was formed in 1903 with twelve clubs but only two (Undercliffe and Bankfoot) of the inaugural twelve are current members.

The first club to win the Bradford Cricket League was Shelf, in 1903, claiming their only League title. In total, the League has had twenty-six different winners of its top division. The most successful clubs are Bradford CC and Pudsey St Lawrence CC, with 10 titles each.

The turn of the century saw the domination of Pudsey Congs and Woodlands within the top division. Pudsey Congs won five consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004, and Woodlands won the following four titles.

In 2016, The Bradford Cricket League merged with the Central Yorkshire League to form the Bradford Premier League. Until then, the League had operated as two divisions, but this format was expanded to four divisions to accommodate the extra teams.

The League runs two cup competitions for the first and second teams of every club within the League. The first team competition is the Priestley Cup, which has been running since 1904, and the second team competition is the Priestley Shield, which has been running since 1913. Both the Cup and Shield are named for Sir William Priestley, who donated the presentation trophies for which the competitions are played.[4]

The only club ever to have won the Cup three times in a row is East Bierley, who won in 1998, 1999 and 2000.[5] However, the most successful club in the competition is Undercliffe, who have won it fourteen times.[6]


The League competition is made up of fixtures of fifty overs per side, with each team playing the others in their division both home and away. The strength of the League and its players is in part assisted by the League management having an open policy on the payment of players and no particular limit on the number of professional players in each game. However, teams are limited to one overseas player. In 2008 some first division sides have fielded as many as six players with professional (first-class) credentials.[citation needed]

There are certain playing restrictions that apply to all League fixtures. Bowlers are limited to bowling a maximum of fifteen overs per innings, the fielding side's innings must be bowled within 3 hours 10 minutes (failure to do so results in a points penalty), and the fielding side must have four fieldsmen plus the wicketkeeper and bowler within a 30-yard fielding circle at the moment of delivery (failure to do so results in a no-ball being called).[7]

Points are awarded as follows: 10 points for a win, 5 points to each side for a tie (scores level), 0 points for a loss, 5 points to each side for abandonment (no play), and 5 points to each side for an abandonment (with play, no win achieved). For all results, bar an abandonment with no play, teams can gain an added maximum of five bonus batting points and five bonus bowling points. Batting points are awarded as 1 point for scoring 125 runs, with an extra 1 point for every further 25 runs (to a maximum of 5 points), and bowling points are awarded as 1 point for every 2 wickets taken.[8] As thus, the maximum number of points that can be gained from a game is 20.

Spectators at first XI matches are often required to pay for entry and a programme. The League management has, from 2008, capped the maximum charge at £3, with concessions at £1.50. Second XI matches are capped at a maximum of 25p for adults and 10p for children. All gate receipts are kept by the home club.[9]

Many of the grounds in the League are quite small. This fact, combined with traditionally good groundskeeping and wickets prepared primarily for batting makes for an exciting blend of cricket popular with supporters.


Year Champions
1903 Shelf
1904 Great Horton
1905 Clayton
1906 Great Horton
1907 Undercliffe
1908 Great Horton
1909 Great Horton
1910 Idle
1911 Windhill
1912 Bingley
1913 Laisterdyke
1914 Bradford
1915 Bowling Old Lane
1916 Idle
1917 Saltaire
1918 Saltaire
1919 Keighley
1920 Saltaire
1921 Bingley
1922 Saltaire
1923 Bowling Old Lane
1924 Bowling Old Lane
1925 Undercliffe
1926 Saltaire
1927 Bradford
1928 Bradford
1929 Bradford
1930 Brighouse
1931 Brighouse
1932 Brighouse
1933 Bradford
1934 Bradford
1935 Undercliffe
1936 Bradford
1937 Windhill
1938 Windhill
1939 Windhill
1940 Windhill
1941 Windhill
1942 Lidget Green
1943 Saltaire
1944 Spen Victoria
1945 Undercliffe
1946 Keighley
1947 Salts
1948 Windhill
1949 Salts
1950 Baildon
1951 Baildon
1952 Baildon
1953 Salts
1954 Salts
1955 Bradford
1956 Pudsey St Lawrence
1957 Lidget Green
1958 Bradford
1959 Bingley
1960 Brighouse
1961 Salts
1962 Farsley
1963 Undercliffe
1964 Lidget Green
1965 Idle
1966 Idle
1967 Idle
1968 Bradford
1969 Bingley
1970 Undercliffe
1971 Undercliffe
1972 Bankfoot
1973 Bingley
1974 Idle
1975 Pudsey St Lawrence
1976 Pudsey St Lawrence
1977 Idle
1978 Bowling Old Lane
1979 Pudsey St Lawrence
1980 Yorkshire Bank
1981 East Bierley
1982 Bingley
1983 Yorkshire Bank
1984 Pudsey St Lawrence
1985 Pudsey St Lawrence
1986 Undercliffe
1987 Hanging Heaton
1988 East Bierley
1989 Hanging Heaton
1990 Bradford and Bingley
1991 Pudsey St Lawrence
1992 Bradford and Bingley
1993 East Bierley
1994 East Bierley
1995 Hanging Heaton
1996 East Bierley
1997 Undercliffe
1998 Bradford and Bingley
1999 Hanging Heaton
2000 Pudsey Congs
2001 Pudsey Congs
2002 Pudsey Congs
2003 Pudsey Congs
2004 Pudsey Congs
2005 Woodlands
2006 Woodlands
2007 Woodlands
2008 Woodlands
2009 Baildon
2010 Pudsey Congs
2011 Woodlands
2012 Woodlands
2013 Cleckheaton
2014 Cleckheaton
2015 Pudsey St Lawrence
2016 Pudsey St Lawrence
2017 Hanging Heaton
2018 Pudsey St Lawrence
2019 Woodlands
2020 N/A (COVID-19 pandemic)


Performance by season from 2016

Gold Champions
Red Relegated
2016 2017 2018 2019
Batley 11
Bradford and Bingley 7 7 10 6
Cleckheaton 6 9 7 9
East Bierley 10 10 11
Farsley 3 3 6 7
Hanging Heaton 2 1 3 3
Lightcliffe 9 8 9 12
Methley 5 8
Morley 11
New Farnley 4 5 2 5
Pudsey Congs 8 12
Pudsey St Lawrence 1 4 1 4
Scholes 12 12
Townville 6 8 2
Undercliffe 11
Woodlands 5 2 4 1
Wrenthorpe 10
[11] [12] [13] [14]

Noted players

Some of the more notable members include Leonard Hutton, who was a youngster at Pudsey St Lawrence and Jack Hobbs who played at Idle between 1915 and 1918. Notable overseas players include West Indian fast bowler Learie Constantine, Indian Test player VVS Laxman and Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf.

The following Bradford League players have played international cricket:

In April 1999, Kathryn Leng became the first woman to play in the Bradford League, representing the former Yorkshire Bank club.

See also


  1. ^ Bradford Cricket League – Batsmen scoring over 10,000 career runs
  2. ^ Bradford Cricket League – Players with more than 1,000 1st XI League wickets since 1940 (incl)
  3. ^ Conn, David (22 March 2006). "Headingley gropes its way toward colour blindness". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  4. ^ Bradford Daily Telegraph, 28 May 1904, p. 5; Yorkshire Post, 31 January 1913, p. 14; Bradford Weekly Telegraph, 9 May 1913, p. 15.
  5. ^ "Priestley Cup finals". bradfordcricketleague.org. 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Priestley Cup wins". bradfordcricketleague.org. 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  7. ^ "JCT600 Bradford League rules, page 3". bradfordcricketleague.org. 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  8. ^ "JCT600 Bradford League rules, page 4". bradfordcricketleague.org. 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  9. ^ "JCT600 Bradford League rules, page 5". bradfordcricketleague.org. 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Past Winners".
  11. ^ "Old Tables 2016-18".
  12. ^ "Old Tables 2016-18".
  13. ^ "Premier League - 2018".
  14. ^ "Premier League - 2019".
  15. ^ Nelson, Reg (15 May 2015). "Club histories - Idle". Bradford Cricket League. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Club History". Undercliffe Cricket Club. 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2017.