The Northern Diamonds’ Academy has chosen its 15 player squad for the 2021 season.
Players between the ages of 15 to 19-years-old predominantly from the Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland regions make-up the 15 player squad following observation sessions and match practice scenarios.
Due to COVID restrictions, the process of picking a squad across the three counties has had its many challenges. Courtney Winfield-Hill, Northern Diamonds’ Senior Regional Talent Manager, who led the search for the next Diamonds stars, is delighted to have the academy squad confirmed for the summer.
“We started this process in October with multiple stops and starts along the way because of COVID,” Winfield-Hill said.
“There were so many online engagement sessions and it was dragged out to the max. To get to last Thursday and to offer 15 places on our academy, delighted is the word to use to describe that.
“We started with 37 players. Those 37 players were predominantly from within our county age group and women’s pathways here in the north east. We also captured half a dozen players who have relocated to the north east at Leeds or Durham University.
“The process was quite difficult as the under 18s through the COVID period were unable to mix with the over 18s. The under 18s did nine hours of indoor observation and the over 18s did a few hours in a one-to-one space with COVID restrictions for indoor practice.
“Last week we got to the place where we were able to get outdoors for the entire day and actually play cricket. We had a mini match and multiple scenarios. It was actually at the start of the year that we shortlisted the 37 after all of the indoor observations took place. This was shortlisted to 23 and those players took part in the outdoor observations last week.