Yorkshire’s D40 title-winning team manager Owen Jervis believes the success of the county’s disability structure spans much wider than this summer’s on-field triumph.
Jervis and his players became national champions, winning the ECB’s National Quest League – just 12 months after being promoted from the second tier.
And it is a feat which they have designs on repeating in 2024.
But, says Jervis, just getting young boys and girls, men and women involved in disability cricket is just as rewarding and that the momentum created must continue to be built upon.
“We have been measuring our success in terms of trophies and medals, which is only part of the story,” he said, as he reflected on 2023.
“Disability cricket continues to grow as the sport gets more media coverage and players more opportunity to engage. Our capability to provide a product for any disabled athlete has to be better tomorrow than it is today.
“Fortunately YCCC have invested in programs to help meet needs across many disability groups.
“The work done by Shakil Manir (Yorkshire Cricket Board disability manager) and his team brings the game to many players and is life changing for many involved in the game.”
Jervis and the senior management have many plans for progression, with one particular area being the female side of the game.
“Today, we have no county disability women and girls offering, which is certainly on our radar as a must do activity,” he continued. “We have coach resource already available to engage with players wanting to play.
“We have seen how women’s cricket grows quickly and disability cricket should not be any different.”
Yorkshire’s on-field success started in 2022, with promotion for the D40 pursuit team and also regional success for the county’s S9 softball team.
“We have won our respective leagues across three competitions over the last couple of years, culminating in becoming Quest county champions in unlikely circumstances this summer,” said Jervis.
“There were many factors that resulted in winning the national title, and we have plenty of hard work to do to stay at the top of the table, starting with our winter training.
“Away from Yorkshire, we have seen six of our players gaining England recognition in various squads this winter, though it was hugely disappointing for James O’Conner, Cameron Sweeney and Henry Wainman that the Deaf World Cup in Qatar earlier this month was cancelled at the last minute.
“The Disability Premier League has been a great pathway for our performance squad players with 13 playing in the competition this year, many player making star performances, including cameo roles on Sky Sports, who covered the final live.
“It has been a fantastic year for us on and off the field, but there is plenty more to come as we, along with the ECB, who are wonderful partners to work with and provide most of the funding for our game, look to build on what we have achieved.”