Young aspiring cricketers are being encouraged to try out for Warwickshire as the Club relaunches its innovative Open Trials scheme to find stars of the future.
The Club revolutionised its youth selection last year by introducing an Open Trials system that allowed any boy aged 13-18 to submit video footage of them batting, bowling and / or wicket keeping for assessment by coaches.
It resulted in 60 boys being invited in for a series of five coaching sessions – where coaches get to know the youngsters – with 10 making it into the pathway age structure.
Previously only local clubs, schools and cricket organisations could nominate players so the move throws the Club’s selection processes wide open and makes it accessible to all.
Such was its success that Warwickshire – the only professional club to operate such a system – has expanded the scheme for 2023 with girls aged 11-18 now also able to apply along with boys aged between 13 and 18.
Warwickshire High Performance Manager Paul Greetham said: “We’ve been encouraged by the results from that pilot year…it’s unearthed some young players with potential.
“Many of the boys who submitted video footage were not on the Club’s radar, with no formal county coaching previously, which shows the scheme is engaging new audiences.
“Thirteen of the men’s professional squad came through the pathway and Academy, including Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Rob Yates, Dan Mousley, Jacob Bethell, Sam Hain and Henry Brookes.
“I’d encourage families, teachers, coaches and children themselves to send in footage so we can take a look. It could be a first step to an exciting career in cricket.
“And I’d also urge boys that applied but didn’t make it through last year to send us new clips – we would love to see them again and maybe this could be their year.”
The Open Trials system was developed in association with Birmingham City University (BCU) which co-funded research looking at how bias and a lack of objectivity can impact selection decisions.
Mark Jeffreys, Director of Sport at BCU, added: “The research undertaken here at BCU showed there can be significant barriers to young people from a diverse range of backgrounds having the chance to shine on a bigger stage.
“That’s why we’re especially pleased to be launching this open trials scheme with the coaches at Warwickshire – aimed at unearthing gems – players who have never tried out before, or perhaps felt excluded.
“We’re very excited to be joining forces with the club to try to reach some of the stars of the future.”
Video is supplied on WhatsApp to a dedicated number: 07851 012329 for boys and 07754 321590 for girls.
Applications are open until mid- September.
The Club has created two videos outlining the open trials system and explaining what video footage needs to be submitted for batters and bowlers.