2nd XI Coach and Academy Director Ian Dews reflects on a remarkable 2017 season for the Yorkshire Academy and 2nd XI, with plenty of positives to look at.
“It was really interesting when we sat down and evaluated the season,” said Dews. “We lost just one multi-day game and either won or drew the rest. Three of the games that we drew, we were in the position to win and lost out to the weather.”
The 2nd XI finished second in the group, narrowly missing out on being crowned County Champions and Dews put’s this down to the players themselves.
“In the longer format, we were really successful which I can only put that down to the hard work the lad’s put in, and a group of players that have developed over the last three or four years, who have taken one or two battering’s at times and have learnt from it and kept coming back. I think it’s their turn and they’ve now got to be able to make that step up into first team cricket when they get the opportunity.”
“If I look back at the previous two years, we’d made six hundreds over two seasons. This year we have made nine in one season, which, if you’re getting that then you’re in positions to win games.”
The highlight of the season for the 2nd XI came in early June, as they were crowned champions of the Second XI Trophy, much to the delight of Dews.
“We won the competition, that speaks for itself. We were unbeaten all the way through and again lost a couple of games to weather otherwise we would have finished top of our group. We came second and beat a very strong Middlesex side in the final.
“In the T20, again we played some very, very good cricket and I think that was down to clear plans for roles we had set them as a coaching group. We lost two games out of 12, got to the finals and then unfortunately didn’t turn up after a long trip down to Taunton. We didn’t turn up so that was disappointing but overall to lose just two games was a pretty good effort from the boys.
“Just to re-iterate it’s been a season that the players have grown and used their experiences and things are starting to stick in.”
The Yorkshire pathways have a proud tendency of producing and nurturing remarkable talent, both for the White Rose and England. In his role as 2nd XI Coach and Academy Director, Dews has overseen this for many years and is in the perfect position to explain the make-up of the current 2nd XI squad.
“You look at second team cricket, you get three types of player,” Dews commented.
“You get a player that’s out of form, struggling in the first team and comes back to the seconds wanting to get some form and I think we did that really well. The lads that came down had great attitudes, went about the job, and got themselves into a position to get back into the first team.
“You get the players who have played two or three season who have got to stand up and break into that first team. We did that with Coady (Ben Coad), Harry Brook and Matthew Waite, people like that getting the opportunity.
“You’ve also got the players underneath who are just getting their first time out, coming from the Academy so it’s a bit of a learning curve for them. They sometimes struggle in the same way as players going up into the first team can struggle.
“The key to it is that we’ve got to have players ready to play when Galey (Andrew Gale) and Gary (Ballance) need them up above. We’ve got to have players in form, ready to play who can do the job, whether that’s a senior player that’s been left out or a junior player like Harry Brook, or a middle of the road player like Ben Coad who’s served his apprenticeship.”