Yorkshire County Cricket Club, together with Lahore Qalandars from the Pakistan Super League (PSL), today announces the first step on its search for undiscovered cricketing talent following the recently agreed partnership between the Clubs.
In summer 2022, aspiring players over 18 years old will be invited to demonstrate their cricketing potential during trials across the four regions of North, East, South and West Yorkshire in front of a selection panel led by the interim Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket Darren Gough, alongside representatives from the Qalandars coaching team. Times and dates for trials are currently being finalised and will be announced in due course.
The most talented players will be divided into four teams to play a Finals Day. From these games, the best two female and best two male cricketers will be chosen for scholarships with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, including the opportunity to travel to Lahore and train at the Qalandars’ elite high performance centre, as well as a full kit bag provided for all the winners to keep.
This activity forms the first step of a longer-term vision for the partnership between the two clubs to improve access to the sport.
The programme takes inspiration from the Qalandars’ world-famous Players Development Program (PDP). This platform, for players to showcase their cricketing potential through open trials, has so far engaged over half a million young people across Pakistan, and brought down traditional socioeconomic barriers to the sport.
Entrants must not be on a professional cricketing contract, and must be 18 years or over. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.
Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “Our partnership with Lahore Qalandars is an exciting moment as we continue to rebuild Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and we are incredibly excited at the opportunity for four players to join us as a part of our new scholarship programme.
“Lack of accessibility to the sport and constrained developmental pathways into professional cricket have been among the many criticisms we have faced in recent months. While this is an initial trial, the scholarship programme is designed to help make cricket more accessible to all. We want to ensure an open and supportive pathway for aspiring talent across Yorkshire and beyond.”
Darren Gough, interim Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket, said: “I am thrilled to be able to welcome undiscovered talent to Headingley. Across Yorkshire, and the UK, there are so many amateur clubs with fantastic standards of cricket, and I am passionate about making sure talented players from all backgrounds are given the chance to access better facilities, develop their skills, and train with some of the best players in the world. I cannot wait to see the standard of the players and I am sure we will be spoilt for choice for our eventual winners.”
Sameen Rana, Chief Operating Officer, Lahore Qalandars, said: “We are delighted to have built a partnership with Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Our Player Development Programme has been an essential tool to discovering new talent in Pakistan and opening up the sport to those who previously felt unable to access it, and we are looking forward to sharing our learnings as the partnership develops.”
Details of how to register will be announced soon.
Postponement of Lahore Qalandars friendly match
Yorkshire County Cricket Club can confirm that the friendly match announced between the Club and Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on 16th January has been postponed. Owing to the ongoing COVID-19 developments globally, and for the safety and wellness of all players, it has been decided that it is appropriate to reschedule the match to a later date, which will be confirmed in due course.