Friday 15 May 2009 

Yorkshire Stars Launch Community Cricket Programme

Yorkshire first team stars including captain Anthony McGrath and leg-spinner Adil Rashid have launched the Yorkshire Bank Community Cricket Talent Programme.

The programme aims to uncover 150 talented junior players in the region by 2012. The financial support from Yorkshire Bank will enable more sophisticated talent identification across the County during the summer months, and funding of additional player coaching and development by Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s (YCCC) senior coaching staff during the winter.

Adil Rashid with some of the youngsters at Headingley

The programme will give young players with raw talent, throughout the region, an even greater chance of being spotted and then developing their talent at the club. YCCC’s world class coaches will also work closely with players identified through the club’s Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association summer matches, meaning that these players have an even greater chance of realising their full potential and making it through to the YCCC’s 1st XI.

The Yorkshire Schools Cricket Programme involves selection sessions in the Spring ahead of the playing schedule which runs from May to August at under 11 to under 15 levels. Through this programme and watching club and school age group matches across the County, the Club’s network of coaches intend to identify 50 junior players each year, ending in 2012. These players have the potential to benefit from specialist coaching and development during the winter months from YCCC’s coaching team, which includes such past players as Steve Oldham, John Blain and Kevin Sharp.

Ilkley Grammar School’s under 15 girls team, who were recently crowned the England Schools’ Cricket Indoor Champions for the second year running at Lord’s, have also shown their support for the initiative and will help with the launch at Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground today.

Helen Everett, Head of Sponsorship at Yorkshire Bank said: "We’re looking forward to working closely with Yorkshire County Cricket Club as they work within local communities to promote the game and identify new talent."

"In our 150th year, it’s fitting that the target of 150 players has been set; we really hope that we can uncover another Michael Vaughan or Adil Rashid through the programme. The Bank has a long sporting history itself and is now in the 5th year of its sponsorship of the Twenty20 Cup; so we hope the scheme’s success can inspire youngsters across the county to get involved in cricket."

Stewart Regan, chief executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: "Today is a very exciting day for everybody at the club. The Yorkshire Academy has been in existence since 1989 and has developed over 50 players who have subsequently gone on to play First Class Cricket, including 13 players who have gone on to play for England including Darren Gough, Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Ryan Sidebottom and most recently Tim Bresnan who last week made his Test debut at Lord’s. This new initiative with Yorkshire Bank enables us to extend the reach of the Academy by identifying and developing talent from an even younger age group.”

Adil Rashid with some of the youngsters at Headingley

© Cricket World 2009