Dhar’s the way to do it

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Chorley pro Gaurav Dhar says it’s a different club at Windsor Park this year, compared to the one he played for last season.

Andrew Holdsworth’s team currently lie fourth in the Northern League – a far cry from last season, when they finished bottom with just three wins.

They were beaten 15 times in their 2010 campaign, but so far this year they’ve picked up two wins, three draws and only one defeat, against Blackpool.

On Saturday, they lost out on a near-certain win against Kendal, when a 14-minute break for rain spoilt their run chase.

All-rounder Dhar, whose younger brother Ravi has just been picked for Lancashire Under-11s, is in his first season as a pro at Windsor Park, having played a number of games as a sub-pro in 2010.

He said “I think our aim at the start of the season was to aim for a safe, mid-table finish, so we can’t complain with where we are.

“All the team are doing pretty well at the moment, and now we’re there in fourth.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t look to finish the season as strongly as possible.”

Dhar, who played for the MCC last year, said the mood has completely changed, and he put that down to greater team spirit.

He said: “Last season we got in the habit of losing, and it become really hard to turn round, because we’re a young team.

“You turned up to games expecting to get beaten, and that’s the wrong mindset.

“It’s too early to start talking about turning the corner, but there has definitely been a tangible change.

“When we lost against Blackpool we were really disappointed. It hurt us – and so it should.

“We lost in the National Knockout after being docked points for a slow over rate.

“In the changing room afterwards we were distraught, and I think we’ve tried to use that as a bonding experience.”

Dhar has already taken 21 wickets this season with his leg spin, but reserved any praise for his team-mates.

He said: “Andy Holdsworth has really taken the responsibility of captaincy and I think that’s helped his performances as a player.

“Opening the battting and keeping wicket puts him at the centre of the action.

“He learnt a lot about himself last season, and he’s come back a stronger person for it.

“The recruitment of Iain Critchley as a player/coach has added some much-needed experience to the team.

“Billy Smith has bowled really well and, with a bit of luck, should have had even more wickets than he has.

“Nobody is suggesting that we’re the finished article.

“We know that we’ll have the odd hiccup along the way.

“The key for me is how we respond when we lose a few quick wickets, or a batsman gets after us.

“So far we’ve come up with some of the answers, but we’ve got a long way to go.”