HEREFORDSHIRE’S best club cricketers will have a chance to stake their claim at county level this summer.
Wormelow’s Tom Bevan (pictured) is the match manager for a new Herefordshire County Cricket Club 2nd team.
Bevan said identified players will be invited to a two-day training camp in April and there are six matches planned this term.
“There are players from Herefordshire who are playing club cricket for county clubs who have slipped through the net,” said Bevan.
“This will give players aged 18 years and above a chance to step up to a higher level and we hope they will take the opportunity to come up against strong opposition.
“Ed Price is on board and he believes there’s plenty of talent in Herefordshire and this is an excellent platform to showcase it.”
Steve Williams will be the main coach for the new team who make their debut at home to the Army Under-25 on May 1.
There are also home matches scheduled against the academy teams of Worcestershire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire; and also Staffordshire Under-23.
Ian Macklin is chairman of the new sub-committee and the team has an official link with Herefordshire Minor Counties and Herefordshire Cricket.
Bevan explained: “We have put together a list of 30 to 35 candidates whom we would like to invite along to April’s training camp. A second team and academy have been tried in the past but not with this level of structure, framework or tie-in with the Minor Counties’ side.”
Players eligible for selection, said Bevan, must have been born in Herefordshire, live in the county, been educated in the county, or play for a club in Herefordshire and have had at least one season under their belt with that club.
Bevan said that Herefordshire Minor Counties skipper Dave Exall is involved in the initiative and stalwart John Beaman is also keen to help.
“I have said that I don’t want to be playing for this team - I don’t want to be taking the place of a young player who should be there,” said Bevan.
“There are people like Worcester Nomads’ Liam O’Driscoll who was educated in the county and grew up playing junior cricket for Herefordshire.”
“It’s vital that we get clubs from Herefordshire on board and they support what we are trying to do because it will benefit their players and offer them a pathway.”
Bevan said the sub-committee planned to meet regularly during the season to monitor the form of Herefordshire players.
“We will be trying to pick the players who are scoring the runs and taking wickets for their club sides,” said Bevan.
q The sub-committee includes chairman: Ian Macklin; selector: Ed Price; selector and coach: Glyn Harrhy; club rep and fixtures: Edd Oliver; club rep: Richard Coleman; club rep and match manager: Tom Bevan.