Tim Boon knows as well as anyone what Jonny Tattersall will bring to his new role as Yorkshire’s captain, the wicketkeeper batter’s former England Under 19s coach hailing his appointment as an “excellent” one.
When Tattersall played international age-group cricket in 2013 and 2014, captaining six of his 40 appearances, Boon was the man in charge of the set-up.
Now, Doncaster-born Boon is on Yorkshire’s staff as a senior high performance coach and is part of Ali Maiden’s backroom team for the ongoing Royal London Cup.
“Tatts is a natural leader,” he said. “He’s a clear thinker, and his inter-personal skills are good as well.
“He’ll create a calm environment, and I think it’s an excellent appointment, I really do.”
Former Leicestershire batter and head coach Boon was appointed to Yorkshire’s staff, initially on a part-time basis in December. He has since joined the club permanently.
Before we delve into the 60-year-old’s role, let us talk about the ongoing RL50.
Yorkshire have won one and lost one so far in Group B, which continues on Sunday against Worcestershire Rapids at Scarborough (11am).
They beat Northamptonshire at York on Tuesday in a fixture which saw both sides top 300 before losing to Lancashire at the same venue on Thursday when the Vikings posted only 224 all out and were beaten by seven wickets.
After an outstanding batting performance – 353-5 from 46 overs – on Tuesday, led by centurions Will Fraine and Harry Duke, Boon reflected: “We were below par in all areas against Lancashire.
“We played some really good cricket against Northants, and Sunday is a chance for the guys to get back to that and show the character we know they have.”
Worcestershire have lost their opening two games. They failed to defend a target of 352 against Kent at New Road on Tuesday before falling short of chasing 237 against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. They were bowled out for 192.
Batter Jake Libby is captaining a county missing five players to the Hundred; Moeen Ali, Pat Brown, Brett D’Oliveira, Jack Haynes and Mitchell Stanley.
Pakistan batter Azhar Ali is playing as their overseas player.
Boon’s tasks at Yorkshire are wide ranging. He joined the club initially to help guide the playing squad through the difficulties which came in the winter, preparing them for the season through January and February before Ottis Gibson took charge at the start of March.
“After that, Darren Gough asked me to stay on and work with some of the batters in the second-team and also to work with some of the coaches as well,” he said.
“I had 20 years of coaching before doing five years as a match referee with the ECB. But I decided to vacate that position in September, and I was always planning to do some part-time coaching.
“Really, my intention was to continue to do some part-time coaching.
“Then, I just saw there was a need here, and I thought I could help supply that need.
“I’d been working the lads in the winter and knew them, so there was some form of continuity there.
“There are some really good characters within the younger players, the likes of George Hill and Matthew Revis to name just two. We know Tatts has always had talent.
“Fin Bean is an addition to that. It was great to see him get his rookie contract recently and score all those runs at Lady Bay.”
Through the summer, Boon has spread his time helping Tom Smith lead the second team, obviously now he’s with the first team for the ongoing block of 50-over cricket, and he has also spent time watching league cricket around the county in a bid to unearth more talent.
“It’s been about getting out there, watching and building relationships with players around the leagues, be it the Bradford League, the Yorkshire Leagues,” he continued.
“The leagues in this county are the basis of where our talent comes from. So we have to nurture the leagues, the clubs and the players.
“They know there is an opportunity. If they score runs or take wickets, we will keep an eye on them.
“I’ve been listening to different opinions and watching the players they recommend.
“Beany was one of those. He was formerly on the Academy and scored some runs for York. He got another opportunity with us and took it.
“I think there’s some outstanding cricket played in the leagues.
“There’s some real bite to games in the Bradford League but elsewhere as well. In some clubs with experienced overseas and local players, it’s also good to see them developing their young players.
“They’re the clubs that interest me instead of the ones who stay in the moment instead of developing for the future.
“One of the reasons I want to get out there is to encourage coaches to keep developing.
“There are some very good coaches in Yorkshire who can help us create even more Yorkshire players players playing for this county.”
Boon’s vast experience in the game does not only put him in an ideal position to help develop players, but also the county’s coaches too.
He smiles and hesitates before continuing: “I don’t really want to say I’m an old fart, but when I go back to being head coach at Leicestershire, I signed Tom Smith on loan (2008). I remember him being an England Under 19s player.
“I also remember Ali Maiden when he was 15-years-old.
“We go back, and it’s so good to see two young coaches fulfilling their potential. They care deeply about people, and they’re both very ambitious.”
And returning to the topic of the Royal London Cup, Boon added: “It’s a first XI environment, but there’s a lot of second-team lads playing. And it’s a wonderful chance for them to develop, come together as a team and showcase their skills.”