Tom Cant believes all areas of the Northern Diamonds structure are ready to hit the ground running ahead of the forthcoming summer.

Cant, the Diamonds senior regional talent manager, has given his final winter update, talking training, fixtures for the second team and Academy, coaching responsibilities and the Emerging Players Programme.

Even though his responsibilities stand more below the first team, he has been assisting Dani Hazell over the last couple of weeks in Mumbai on their pre-season tour.

“We get back on Tuesday, and then we will get Easter weekend off,” he said. “When we return in April, it will be all systems go.

“The winter feels like it has come and gone in a blur.

“In terms of the Academy, all the girls have worked hard individually and as a group.

“We’ve tried to cover everything the girls will come up against in the summer on and off the pitch and have broken this down into blocks – spin, seam, white ball, red ball.

“Weather permitting, we are looking to get outside in the second week of the Easter Holidays.

“We have a training day at Richmondshire CC and are hoping to finalise a couple of friendlies v local Universities, Loughborough and Durham).

“We have Leeds Uni pencilled in for Friday April 19 at Weetwood.

“A number of the girls will be involved in the North East Warriors v Yorkshire county fixture on Sunday April 21, and we should then be ready to go for our first regional game v Central Sparks at Moseley the following Sunday.

“Underneath the Academy, Mark Harrison has worked well with the EPP group.

“Again, they have worked similarly to the Academy and broken the winter down into phases. There is some exciting talent coming through, which bodes well for the future.”

Cant and Harrison will work closely with Hazell and assistant coach Kyle Coetzer, the latter two taking responsibility for the senior Diamonds squad.

“We all have a lead area,” continued Cant. “Kyle has taken on leading the second team alongside Dani with the senior, myself with the Academy and Mark with the EPP.

“This gives us coaches the chance to lead and assist across the squads and develop our own skills.”

Looking at the second-team fixtures for the Diamonds in 2024, Cant said: “The six 50-over games against the northern teams will be spread out across the season, including the Hundred period.

“There will also be a T20 competition running through the senior Charlotte Edwards Cup block of fixtures with a Finals Day at Loughborough on the June 20 for the top two in each group.

“The Northern group sees us play Central Sparks (May 17), Thunder (May 20) and The Blaze (June 5).”

Touching on Project Darwin, which has seen 16 of the 18 county clubs bid for eight Tier One teams to replace the existing regions from 2025, Cant said: “We have had conversations with the girls and what it means.

“They asked plenty of questions, and we wait to see what is the outcome of the Tier 1 tender process.

“We reiterated to the girls that whatever happens, there is still very much to be excited about and focus on for 2024. What happens down the line will happen.”

And he added: “Personally, it has been another busy winter being across all the programmes, including spending a bit of time with the seniors.

“It was also great to see Lizzie Scott get her first senior contract.

“Both coming from Hexham, our journeys have aligned from Northumberland to North East Warriors and now the Diamonds.

“We both went to the same high school, but she tells me she’s the best cricketer to come out of QEHS (Queen Elizabeth High School).

“It’s hard to argue!”

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