The Yorkshire Academy will depart for nine days of warm-weather training in Cape Town later this week, with a view to ramping up their pre-season preparations.
2nd XI Coach and Academy Director Ian Dews, who will be leading the tour party, has seen many players develop on pre-season tours in previous years.
“We’ve done it quite a lot over the years,” said Dews. “We took a side to Cape Town in 2007 which had Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lyth. We think it’s a great learning opportunity for them, not just cricket wise but also as a pro. It’s a fantastic opportunity.
“You get some tough opposition. We went to Potchefstroom a couple of years ago, but we’ve got the opportunity this time to go to Cape Town which will be great, and there will also be some educational trips involved as well.”
The tour party, which will depart on Friday 9th and return on Sunday 18th February, will include 15 players from within the Yorkshire Pathways system.
“We are taking out our four senior Academy player, five normal Academy and then six scholarship players that are in their second year,” Dews continued.
“It’s a great time to go, the lads have been indoors now since October and they’re ready to get outside. We would have had to ease back on the indoor stuff a bit if we didn’t have this, so they don’t peak to soon. They can now have a bit of a trial to see where they’re at. It’s not life or death, the results aren’t really huge to us, but we will be competing. It’s about them getting the opportunity to get on grass, then they will have two or three weeks when they return and will hit the floor running for the season.”
Yorkshire’s official coaching partner, Pro Coach Yorkshire Cricket will also be taking a party out to Cape Town at the same time, with Yorkshire seamer Jack Brooks joining them.
“Pro Coach will be taking a party as well, and they’ve done the majority of the organising through Chris Brice (Managing Director – Pro Coach). Jack Brooks is going out with them, and he will link up with the Academy to continue his preparation. On our practice days, Jack will be giving them a bit of a baptism.
The tour is only possible thanks to the generosity of the Yorkshire Pride Lottery and Armitage Fund, and Ian Dews was keen to express his gratitude.
“We are massively indebted to the Yorkshire Pride Lottery and the Armitage Fund which is something that goes a little bit unnoticed. It’s money that was left by a deceased Member to send either a player, or a group overseas through the winter. It’s off-set the costs for all of the lads this time.”