Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) is delighted to announce the  players selected for the boys’ Academy squad and the Emerging Players’ Programme (EPP) for 2024.

A total of 31 players will be involved across both groups, 11 on the Academy and 20 on the EPP.

Both programmes have already started, with winter training taking place since early November.

The Academy squad is as follows: 

Jawad Akhtar (Wakefield Thornes)

Will Bennison (Sheriff Hutton Bridge)

Matthew Firbank (Clifton Alliance)

Tom Fraine (York)

Josh Hoyle (Almondbury Wesleyan)

Noah Kelly (Driffield Town)

Louie Owens (Sheffield Collegiate)

Harvey Round (Barnsley Woolley Miners)

Owen Smith (Barnsley Woolley Miners)

Joe Thompson (Clifton Alliance)

Alex Wade (Olicanian)

Five of the Academy squad  – Bennison, Hoyle, Kelly, Round and Wade – were in the squad in 2023, while Akhtar, Firbank,  Fraine, Owens, Smith, and Thompson have all moved up from the EPP.

James Martin, Head of the Yorkshire Performance Pathway, said: “In terms of the Academy, the programme is very much one-to-one this side of Christmas. The players will come in twice a week, midweek, for one-to-ones and then for a team session on a Saturday.

“The Academy lads can get around 12-14 hours of contact time, more than likely, on a week-by-week basis.”

“The EPP will get a one-to-one in the week, along with their strength and conditioning, and then they’ll get a team session as well. They’ll get around 6-8 hours a week.”

The young cricketers selected for the EPP are:

Muhammad Safiullah Abrar (Wakefield Thornes)

Ibrahim Ahmed (Cleckheaton)

Musa Altaf (Sheffield United)

Tom Bradley (Sheffield Collegiate)

Ed Burch (Hallam)

Noah Chapman (Birstall)

Monty Dodsworth (Acomb)

Peter Greenfield (Harrogate)

Josh Hen-Boisen (Wakefield Thornes)

Rizwan Ishfaq (Sheffield Collegiate)

Harry Pearson (Anston)

Aaron Ratnalingam (New Rover)

Jack Redshaw (Scarborough)

Aarush Shinde (Elsecar)

Jay Singh (Hallam)

Ben Squires (Scarborough)

Alex Strain (York)

Bradley Sylvester (Cleckheaton)

Charlie Taylor (Honley)

Louie Wilson (Studley Royal)

Martin said: “The EPP is about a longer-term approach.

“We look at what we have coming up through the pathway to make sure we don’t have a shortfall in certain areas. We want to make sure we’re over supplied in terms of bat, seam, spin and keeping options.

Martin continued: “The players have been in throughout November, and their work-ethic since returning or being inducted has been excellent.

“They’ve been doing a mix of skill and strength and conditioning work, and they’ve had physio plans to run through as well.

“We’ve been really impressed with them.

“Tom (Smith, second-team coach) and Ali (Maiden, first-team assistant coach) are working with the Academy on a Monday and a Wednesday.

“Ali’s been in with the batters on a Monday and Tom with the seamers on a Wednesday, which is massive for us in terms of integrating pro staff with the Academy and pathway.”

Reflecting on the Academy performances in 2023, Martin added: “We used a wide range of players last summer. Winning our four-day group (North) and getting to the T20 final against Surrey was a great experience.

“For us to use a wide range of players across 16s, 17s and 18s was really rewarding.

“And we can’t wait to see how all the players develop and progress.”

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