The D40 Tykes team, who will play in the second tier Pursuit North competition in 2023, welcome the internet based Metronomes charity team to Higham CC for a Sunday friendly clash.
“The background of our team is that we were set up off the back of Twitter,” explained Metronomes vice captain Isaac Lockett, a Leeds-based league off-spinner.
“A couple from Newcastle called Michael and Bex Coleman, who have an autistic son, are the inspiration behind it.
“The team’s first game was August last year against Spen Victoria, another Yorkshire side, and we ended up raising £3,780 for the National Autistic Society. It’s just grown from there.
“This year, we’ve got eight fixtures scheduled all over the UK.
“We’ve got a squad of players from around the country who are trying to raise awareness of acceptance and inclusivity in cricket and raise some money for good causes as we go.
“Playing this match is about raising awareness of disability cricket – to show how good a standard it is.
“We’re lucky to have Alex Jervis playing for us, a multiple Ashes winner. We’re also playing against Graces CC, who are an LGBTQ team, for example in May.
“It’s fantastic that Yorkshire Disability Cricket has thrived and was a positive story in 2022 amidst what has been a difficult period for cricket in the county. It’s amazing to see that they’re growing and have now got this developmental team alongside the first team.”
Last season, Yorkshire had two disability sides – the D40 Tykes and the S9 Terriers softball team. Both won their respective competitions, with the Tykes gaining promotion to the top National Quest League.
After that success, given greater interest and a wider talent pool, the county have added another D40 side who will slot into the same second tier which the now first team were promoted from last September.
Owen Morris has been appointed as their captain and leads the team for the first time, while Ashes winner Jervis – who is playing for Metronomes in this said fixture – is part of the D40 developmental XI’s coaching team whilst juggling playing commitments with their first team.
New signings Matt Bateman, Adam Marshall and Luqman Maroof will all play against the Metronomes.
“We’re definitely heading into this game expecting tough opposition,” said Lockett, who stressed their own cause is not all about the money.
“There’s always a donations page open on our website. But times are tough for everybody at the minute, and if we can just raise awareness of different communities and causes such as Yorkshire Disability by playing a cricket match, then that’s fantastic.
“It’s all about us putting our message behind key things which we believe don’t get spoken about enough.”
While Lockett is based in Yorkshire and plays for Old Leo’s in Division Four of the Aire Wharfe League, the Metronomes captain Simon Ashmore also lives in the county.
“We get our players from all over the country,” added Lockett. “Anyone can join us if they want to.
“But we’ve kind of found that there’s been a lot more interest from southern based players than northern, which is something that we’re looking to change. And it has changed a bit of late. Hopefully that continues.”
Owen Jervis, who heads up the Yorkshire Disability team management structure, added: “We met the Metronomes through Twitter and like their inclusive approach to everything they do.
“We have strong links providing them players, and we actively support the group and their fundraising.”