WITH the days drawing out, Herefordshire Cricket are busily preparing for the new season, which is now little more than a couple of months away.

To encourage the next generation of young cricketers, a new schools, women and girls officer has been appointed with Pete Gale (pictured) taking over from Jodie Slater, who has returned to her native Yorkshire.

“I grew up playing cricket in Lincolnshire,” said Gale.

“After moving to Herefordshire in 2004 I became a primary school teacher but eventually decided to follow my true love of cricket.

“I set up my own coaching business in 2012 and this has grown over the years and has mainly been focused on developing the game at grass roots level.

“However, I am also a level three coach and have coached many Herefordshire age groups as well as being part of the coaching staff with Worcestershire’s Women and Academy.

“I am really excited about this new role and look forward to helping develop our wonderful game.”

Gale has already been busy in his new role, visiting around 20 primary schools.

He is also working with one of our local clubs to launch a new girls cricket section which, if successful, can be rolled out to others next season.

Last year, 250 children took part in All Stars and Dynamos Cricket and these national programmes will be running in even more schools and clubs this summer.

See the Herefordshire Cricket website under Junior Cricket for details.

Adult league cricket gets under way on April 30 when 32 teams will be competing in the GB Liners Marches League.

Meanwhile, Herefordshire County Cricket Club are hoping for a full season for the first time in three years.

Last year, the T20 competition was abandoned due to the pandemic but this is set to return with the first game – a visit by Cornwall to Brockhampton – taking place on April 17.

One of the big events of the summer will be the annual showcase fixture where the National Counties clubs take on first-class opposition.

Herefordshire have again been paired with local rivals Worcestershire with the match set to take place at Eastnor on Sunday, July 31.