Harry Duke will open the batting in Yorkshire’s new look Royal London one-day Cup team when the competition begins this week.

The county’s assistant coach Rich Pyrah is taking charge in the absence of Andrew Gale, who is working in the concurrently running Hundred with the Northern Superchargers.

Duke is one of many youngsters who will get their chance to shine in the RL50, with Yorkshire missing 10 senior players due to their Hundred involvement.

Pyrah has also appointed Dom Bess as the Vikings captain despite Steve Patterson being available to play.

Nineteen-year-old wicketkeeper Duke has encouraged behind the stumps and with the bat in his first five Championship and three T20 appearances for Yorkshire’s first team over the last couple of months.

He has opened briefly in second-team T20 cricket and has a fifty to his name.

Ahead of tomorrow’s National Counties friendly against Northumberland at Scarborough (11am), Pyrah confirmed: “I’ve been really impressed with Dukey and am keen to give him an opportunity at the top of the order in white ball cricket.

“He reminds me of a young Joe Root when he came through, who probably didn’t have the power but has a good cricket brain.

“We sent Rooty up to the top when he was a youngster, and look what it’s done for him. Let’s see how Dukey goes. His temperament is excellent.”

Yorkshire play eight group games in the RL50 through to August 12.

Their opening game is against Surrey, also at Scarborough, on Thursday.

The top three teams in each of the two nine-team groups qualify for the knockout stages ahead of the final at Trent Bridge on August 19.

All counties will lose players to a varying degree, making the winners of the competition difficult to predict.

Pyrah said: “Realistically we’ve lost 10 of our frontline white-ball players, so we’re starting with a new team. It’s really, really exciting.

“You can feel the excitement among the younger lads because they know there’s opportunities available.

“We’re going to try and win every game – that’s only natural – but for me the development to see these young lads and to see them in first-team cricket is the most exciting thing.

“Hopefully by the end of the tournament, they’ve improved and we’ve found another couple of stars.

“We’re still going to have some senior players around in the likes of Gary Ballance, Dom Bess, Duanne Olivier, Ben Coad and Jonny Tattersall.

“They will all be available. But it’s just about getting the balance right. There’s eight games in quite a short period.

“And with someone like Ben coming off back-to-back Championship games, we’re going to have to look after him. But they will be there and thereabouts.

“Steve Patterson will probably play the odd game and be around as a mentor for the bowlers.”

Off-spinner Bess will skipper the Vikings.

The 23-year-old has been exceptional in T20 cricket for Yorkshire this summer, with his 11 wickets in nine games, including a career best 3-17, helping to secure quarter-final qualification for the first time since 2016.

He has also played 15 career one-day games and has never captained at first-team level despite doing it regularly for Somerset’s second team.


Richard Pyrah has named a 15-man squad for the 50-over friendly against Northumberland. This squad will remain the same for the opening Royal London Cup match against Surrey on Thursday.

Dom Bess will take the reigns as captain. Duanne Olivier and Gary Ballance are expected to miss out on Tuesday.

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