Will Luxton, Yorkshire’s Academy captain, has urged his team-mates to take the positive approach to their play in this summer’s Yorkshire Premier League North campaign.
Luxton, who turned 18 last week, is in his second season of Academy cricket and his first as skipper: “To just be playing in the Academy is a pretty big achievement, so to be captain is a really nice honour,” he said.
He is leading a fledgling squad, even in Academy terms in 2021, and has secured a win and a defeat in the opening three games, with Saturday’s clash at Castleford falling foul of the wretched weather across the county.
Luxton is a tall and wiry batsman, a product of Bradford Grammar School.
And he is relishing the challenge which playing against more senior opponents in the Premier League brings.
“It’s an exciting time because we’ve got a good squad. Hopefully we can have a good season,” he said. “We have a lot of young players. It will be good for those lads to get experience at this level.
“We can’t look into results too much. We just have to play our own games. We’re all good cricketers.
“But you’ve got to take the challenge to them. You have to be positive but not over aggressive.
“What I’ve learnt from the last two years playing is that you can’t let them ‘old man you’, as they say. You can’t let them get on top of you as much as they’d like.
Luxton has Yorkshire second-team experience under his belt and is batting at three in the Academy, behind Yash Vagadia and left-handed Matthew Weston.
This is Weston’s first summer of Academy cricket and is currently part of the Emerging Players Programme at Emerald Headingley – one level below Luxton on an Academy contract.
As Luxton describes the preparation for this summer as odd due to the complications surrounding Coronavirus, Weston is just delighted to be back playing the game he loves.
“It’s been an odd winter,” said Luxton.
“We’ve had fewer players in at training, which has actually benefited those of us who have been in a bit more. But it’s a shame for the lads who haven’t been in.”
Weston said: “To be back outside is great. We’ve had a few months where we haven’t been able to do what we usually do. But things are starting to pick up again.
“You have to enjoy the challenge.
“It’s the Yorkshire Premier League with a lot of good players in there – some who have played first-class cricket.”
As batsmen, both players will obviously be looking to pile on the runs this summer, but with differing goals in mind.
Luxton played in the pre-season friendly against Durham’s first team at Headingley in mid-March, scoring an encouraging 29.
“You have to take your chances when they come,” added Luxton. “If you get a chance in the first team, you’ve got to take it with both hands.”
Weston added: “At the minute, I have to keep working hard and push for an Academy contract. Further down the line, we’ll see where that takes me if it happens.”