Owen Jervis has spoken of Yorkshire’s pride following the selection of seven county players for the ECB’s Disability Premier League later this summer.
Jervis, the county’s Disability team manager, is delighted by the recognition for players ahead of the four-team August and September competition which brings together the best 64 players in England.
Cameron Cooper, Rob Hewitt, Alex Jervis, James O’Conner, Luke Riley, Liam Thomas and Henry Wainman have been recognised.
They will be spread across three of the four teams, the Black Cats, the Pirates and Hawks: “The only one we haven’t got any players in are the Tridents,” said Owen. “The biggest one is the Pirates.
“This is a big thing for the county, a very proud moment. It shows the quality we have and how we are doing a lot of things right.”
This T20 competition runs across three dates, August 28 and September 4 and 11, at Loughborough, Wokingham and Neston and culminates in a final at Bristol on September 15 when England’s women play India as part of a double header.
It is an event which was piloted last summer and acts as the bridge between county and international cricket.
“The DPL is replacing the old Lions structure, which was a Centre of Excellence structure ran by ECB coaches,” continued Jervis. “But this is a huge increase in numbers.
“The ECB have four impairment squads, three of them which play in the DPL – Deaf, Learning Disability and Physical Disability.
“Traditionally, the squads for England have all been individuals, England Deaf, PD and LD. In the DPL, as with the Lions, the players come together.
“They have cherry picked the best players based on their performances, England status etc, and the standard’s pretty good. It is similar to Premier League cricket.
“You’ve had the very best players who are drafted in a similar way to the Hundred draft works.
“The intent is that the players who are on the ECB pathways get the opportunity to play with senior internationals, who are the best of the best. It’s a bit of a shop window for them.”
The DPL, in a lot of ways, mirrors the Hundred, though not in match format, with fixtures being T20 contests.
The ECB have committed approximately £250,000 to stage a competition which could yet be televised – in some part or all – by Sky Sports.
But Jervis believes progression for the competition – and, in turn, Disability Cricket in England – would be for the DPL to completely throw its lot in with the Hundred.
He said: “If I think of a Hundred experience as a spectator, I would pay money to go and watch a Disability game, a women’s game and then a men’s game.
“There is a time in the day and a definite undercard opportunity.
“This time, they are running the DPL final as a precursor to the women playing a T20 against India at Bristol. So there will be some precedent there.
“Also, looking at how the DPL could evolve, there are a lot of international teams whose players could get involved to lift the quality and experience to a whole different level.
“If that could happen, that would be fantastic and would really put the game on the map.”