CRICKET - Warwickshire academy prospects tour Sri Lanka in club first - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Warwickshire academy prospects tour Sri Lanka in club first

Rugby Editorial 2nd Mar, 2024   0

TEENAGERS from Warwickshire’s Academy and Emerging Player Programme faced some of Sri Lanka’s most exciting young talent during a winter training tour of the subcontinent.

It’s the first time in the club’s history that boys and girls from the youth ranks have toured overseas together.

The boys played four T20’s and a two-day red ball game against a Western Province under-23 XI side featuring several under-19 internationals and first class men’s players.

And the girls faced an under-17 Western Province side, with guest appearances from the Sri Lankan under-19 captain and other internationals.

The 11-day tour tested both squads on unfamiliar surfaces against top quality spin bowling in 33-degree heat.

And the two squads also took advantage of the opportunity to train at some of the island’s leading outdoor cricket facilities while the rain persisted back home.

Warwickshire high performance manager Paul Greetham said: “Senior pro’s have ‘bounced’ from this trip into the professional game with players citing the importance of such a trip in their development.

“I have no doubt the same will occur here after what has been a fantastic 11 days.

“I am confident the same will be said of some of the girls, as we enter a new professional era in women’s cricket from 2025 onwards.

“The tour affords a chance to test skills under the duress of heat and humidity, as well as surfaces and style of play alien to them up to this point in their development.

“The coaches also gained a great deal of contact time at outstanding training and match play grass facilities, to work with and observe players in these conditions.”

The boys squad trained at Tamil Union CC’s P. Sara Stadium with matches hosted at Nondescripts CC – home to Kumar Sangakarra and other Sri Lankan greats – and also Bloomfield Cricket Club.

The girls were hosted by the Mercantile Cricket Association’s first class ground for three of their matches, finishing at the P. Sara Stadium, a Test and ODI venue.

Players also visited the beautiful Galle International cricket stadium and Vidyaraja Maha Vidyalaya School, Colombo, to help coach local youngsters and present them with some Warwickshire training kit.

Greetham added: “It’s important on trips like this to also take time to support local communities and the day we spent coaching at the school was a highlight.

“I hope we’ve inspired some of them to progress in cricket – and become Bears fans abroad!”

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