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Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 16 2016 at 11:13 AM
JollyD  (Login JollyD)

After 93 years, the Association has effectively been brought to an end. This was not a voluntary act but was imposed by the County Club. Yorkshire has unilaterally decided that henceforth all responsibility for elite young cricketers aged 10 - 15 years will be undertaken by the club. So the organization which has found and nurtured such talents as Geoffrey Boycott, John Hampshire, the Bairstows (father and son), the Sidebottoms (father and son), Martyn Moxon, Michael Vaughan, Tim Bresnan, Joe Root and a host of others is deemed no longer fit for the purpose.
in a farewell statement, the Association's officers include this sentence :- "It has not been made entirely clear as to why these changes were deemed necessary, but it cannot be that we have failed in our mission over the past 93 years."
It has to be said that the coaches chosen to oversee the new structure (Jim Love and Keith Dickson) are both highly experienced and have a wide shared knowledge of young cricketers. Below them a team of 24 coaches and managers will work voluntarily; the calibre of these is as yet unknown. The main challenge, as I see it, is to replicate the hours of dedicated administrative work done by hard-working volunteers. If work among the youngsters simply becomes another chore for some member of the Yorkshire staff, I can see the quality of support falling rapidly.
A wonderful network exists for identifying and bringing on young players of school age, which must not be allowed to disintegrate.
I hope this move is not simply someone's personal vanity project. If it is, generations of young cricketers may be lost to the county for ever.

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Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 16 2016, 11:18 AM 

This worries me too. However, the implication of your post is that the new set of volunteer coaches etc. will be poorer than their existing, equally voluntary equivalents. Does this have to be the case, and indeed is it possible that in some cases they will be the self-same individuals?

Old Feller
(Login Old_Feller2)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 16 2016, 11:46 AM 

It seems to me this move can be viewed in a number of ways.
First the existing "officials" will be miffed since their egos will no longer be massaged.
I wonder how much of a self-perpetuation oligarchy that has been?
Much amateur sport is rife with cliques whose sole purpose is to maintain their own fiefdom. That may or may not have been the position in this organisation, I simply don't know.
Secondly, yes it brought through all those players but that was in the absence of any alternative & how many also went from Schools cricket to join their own local club & from there to Yorkshire?
Thirdly, if the new set-up means the structured oversight, identification & development of all young cricketers, from schools to club cricket that should be a good thing.
Many on here have bemoaned the lack of talent coming through into the Academy & thence to the second team putting pressure on the first team, if this is meant to improve that path then it seems to me that can only be a good thing.
Or it could all be viewed as interference from the top.
Finally, I keep reading about schools cricket withering on the vine - this may be the shot in the arm it needs.
I guess only time will tell.

This message has been edited by Old_Feller2 on Nov 16, 2016 11:47 AM


(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 16 2016, 5:49 PM 

I find this very puzzling. For one thing, has YCCC the power to do such a thing?

The schools' cricketing community is (or at least was) headed by ESCA (E for England); the counties feed into it (YSCA and LSCA, etc) and the town associations feed into the counties - a pyramid. I don't see how level 2 of the pyramid can be removed without bringing the whole lot down.

Ken Lake appears to be ESCA's main man, with their admin HQ in Hull - presumably Ken's address. Ken was in charge of the Humberside SCA (which counted as a county, though not a very prestigious one) when I was running Manchester SCA, which counted as a town association. We still beat them, though, more often than not.

Adrian Grayson was involved with North Yorkshire SCA. They had good teams, invariably! Possibly because Adrian knew about 1000 times as much about cricket as Ken.

I know one of the rules at the time was that ALL posts had to be filled by schoolteachers, a rule I got in trouble for breaking when I involved the likes of Barry Wood and John Speak in the coaching. They were both parents of MSCA players. Nathan Wood went on to play for Lancs and Nick Speak for Lancs and Durham.

Basically, these guys were there anyway, watching their boys, and it would have been ridiculous not to use their expertise. John Speak was a club pro at the level I was playing as an amateur, and so was Barry Wood at the time, in his early 40s.

Finally, congrats to the not-very-old Old Feller for a lovely mixed metaphor, giving a shot in the arm to a withering plant. Try some fertilizer next time!

Old Feller
(Login Old_Feller2)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 16 2016, 6:48 PM 

If you can't mix a metaphor at my age when can you?
By fertilizer do you mean ********?
I've got tons of that.

This message has been edited by Old_Feller2 on Nov 16, 2016 6:49 PM

(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 17 2016, 8:22 PM 

Some of you are much closer and far more knowledgeable to the system so I don't feel too informed to comment. I saw similar in another sport close to my heart and in the end it seemed to me as though the coaches became machines who had all been coached the same way and the flair and uniqueness of some coaches was lost in a system. I think a variety of different coaches is better for development as you learn different things from different people. Otherwise robots deliver robots and the joy of the game goes for the spectator

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 20 2016, 10:41 AM 

Heard Ian Dews talk (very impressively) yesterday. While there are elements of restructuring about this, quite a lot of it apparently is about dull modern issues like insurance, safety, etc.

He also answered a question about Rashid. Defended him very strongly and hinted the clumsy hand of the ECB was not entirely absent. If so, that strikes me as lousy. Banning people from playing is bad enough, but at least it's in the open. Hinting a rest would be a good idea and putting pressure on someone who is a marginal selection is even worse. ID felt the players understood and there was no dressing room hostility. Mind you that's doesn't entirely fit in with Andrew Gal's reported remarks, and Ian struck me as a wonderfully generous bloke who worked probably have defended Chris Adams if pushed. He expected Rashid to be at Yorkshire next season.

(Login JollyD)

Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 20 2016, 11:49 AM 

I am a little surprised to read the opening paragraph of your post, Idle Man. I am not and never have been either an official or a coach of the YSCA. I do, however, know those who are. I can assure you that the young players have always been fully insured, the officials and coaches CRB checked and the boys adequately supervised at all times.
I suspect Ian Dews simply felt obliged to mount a sturdy defence for the move in the face of questioning.

Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 20 2016, 12:35 PM 

It wasn't an accusation against anyone or any club/group, and the questioning wasn't particularly 'sturdy', it was primarily a social occasion - the Southern Group annual lunch - so it was more chat than a statement of any sort. He did say that the likelihood was that a lot of the same people would be involved. He was simply saying that it was as much about practical issues as any sort of 'land-grab'.

(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 21 2016, 4:33 PM 

I'm no expert and have had no involvement with either organisation.

Surely these organisation need to work together rather than combine! Everyone attends school so a schools association, if well run, has a role in introducing children to the game and engaging the better players to play against other similar players.

The better young players will be involved with clubs and the very best part of the 'pathways' programme via the county so a role for the county and the clubs is needed. But one without the other doesn't seem the way forward.

Both need to be inclusive, avoid cliques and cast the net wide.

Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 21 2016, 5:02 PM 

I wouldn't like to comment on whether the YCSA was broken or not. We do though need a decent system to bring in new talent to cricket, both recreational and eventually professional, from schools.

The news about Matt Renshaw is typical, his dad used to play with Joe Root's dad, etc.

Ex players and clubs are doing their bit in bringing on the next generation of their kids who are already destined to play.

We need to widen the gene pool and get some first generation players into cricket.

(Login Spanishnick)

Re: Yorkshire Schools Cricket Association

November 22 2016, 9:02 AM 

Whoever is in charge I hope schools cricket is more inclusive than when I was a teenager. I remember being thrilled to bits, aged about 13, to be invited to Headingley for nets with Leeds schools. Basically the coaches- including some well know faces from YCCC- gathered round one net to watch the grammar school kids and stuck us (very few) comprehensive kids in another net and let us play amongst ourselves. It was disheartening to say the least.
A few years later I did play with the Leeds Joe Lumb team (U17 I think) and although it was an enjoyable and successful season there was a similar "feel" to the selection, despite there being a couple of outstanding players who effectively picked themselves regardless of where they went to school.
Only experience I've had in recent years was with my daughter playing with a North Yorkshire team but I'm sure that was outside the school set up. Incidentally, everyone involved in the coaching and organising side of the girls cricket was smashing with the kids.

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