With an eye on the stars of tomorrow, Yorkshire Academy head coach Richard Damms reflects on 2019 and looks ahead to 2020.
How would you assess 2019 at Academy level?
“It’s been another positive year for us.
“It was a little bit tricky to organise in terms of games and practice facilities for visiting nations around the World Cup and the Ashes. But we managed to do it.
“There was no second-team cricket at that time of the summer because we had to provide net bowlers.
“We had to re-jig a bit of Saturday Academy cricket, and there was no under 17s cricket because of that. It kind of took over. Nevertheless, it was a great experience for the lads in terms of bowling.
“We just had to manage everybody else in terms of batters and keepers and find them things to do.
“It went really well, and the lads from our Academy and second team got stuck in – lads like Jared Warner and Ed Barnes. We also got lads in from the pathways and the cricket college as well. They all made a huge contribution.
“Jon Lewis, who had been coach at Durham but was with Sri Lanka at the time, said the facilities they practiced on at Weetwood were the best that they encountered all trip. To get feedback like that is great for everyone concerned.
“In terms of the Academy Saturday side, we could have done a little bit better. I would say it was a 5 out of 10.
“We had some really good performances and not so good ones. But we were a young group.
“Whilst we’re looking to be competitive and produce good cricket, we’re still looking for individual progression.
“It wasn’t helped that Tom Loten, who was down to be captain, had to deal with injury early on in the season. He tried to come back and got inured again, so we had really young captains.