2017 has been the most successful season to date for Berkshire Youth Cricket. Our primary measure, to assess the progress we are making, is to monitor the individual performance levels of the players in our care.
This year Ryan Higgins and Martin Andersson have made their first- class debuts and, also at the top level, Callum Gregory has just signed his first professional contract with Gloucestershire. Eight teenagers have debuted for Berkshire in Minor counties cricket this year, which obviously hasn’t had a detrimental effect on the team’s performance, as the Berkshire 1st XI became the first side in history to achieve the Championship and Cup double. Euan Woods, Jack Davies and Tom Scriven have all been selected for the England U19s since the turn of the year. Harry Jordan, James Rogers and Archie Carter have recently signed full academy contracts with professional counties. We have had five boys who have played U15 regional cricket for the South and West of England: Hamza Arif, Toby Albert, Raghuv Kanwar, James Langston and Hector Chambers. Hamza and Toby both made the final squad and played in the prestigious Bunbury Festival.
If we produce high-quality individual players, inevitably our teams perform well too. It is always a pleasant surprise when this happens, as our focus is always on performances rather than results. This year all of our sides have enjoyed a high level of success:
U10s - Winners of the Taunton Festival
U11s - Winners of the Shrewsbury Festival
U12s - Runners-p at the Taunton Festival
U13s - Runners-up at the Taunton Festival
U14s - Winners of the U14 South and West ECB Championship
U15s - Second in the U15 South and West ECB Championship
All of these competitions are competed for by the first-class counties, which helps to highlight just how impressive these achievements are.
We are incredibly fortunate to have a team of dedicated and highly professional coaches, who genuinely care about the players in their charge. I’m delighted to report that we will be keeping the same group of senior coaches engaged with us for the 2018 season. My sincere thanks to all of them.
Every year we try to ensure the programme continues to improve and that we increase the opportunities available to our young players. Each year this comes with an increased financial burden, the support we continue to receive from The Head Partnership is invaluable in helping us to keep moving forward.
In 1999 we started off with a single team of girls that played the Falklands boys in their first ever match. From here we have grown to have 115 girls playing representative cricket for Berkshire which I believe is a fantastic achievement. We have also had one of our most successful seasons in performance cricket – the top divisions in girls cricket in England. Our U13 girls runners-up in the league and unbeaten at Malvern festival, our U15 girls unbeaten in their limited-overs league. One very notable achievement is our U11 girls being the first ever U11 Berkshire team to only bowl on average around six wides or no balls per game (at this age it is normal for around 20 to 30 extras to be bowled).
Our pathway program is starting to show success by having 13 girls who have come through our system playing in our ladies 1st XI this season, even though the results have not gone our way, we have a very young team in place which means we have depth and huge potential for future seasons.
We have also had some outstanding individual performances and achievements from the season –
Nicola Lee (u13) – fifth best batter in the ECB County Cup and third best batter out of all Berkshire teams (boys/girls through to men's/ladies).
Rhiana Heer (U15) ninth best batter out of all Berkshire Teams.
Charley Phillips (U15), Lauren Bell (U17) and Anushay Toqir (U13) top three best performing bowlers out of all Berkshire teams.
Lauren Bell’s selection for the Southern Vipers squad and also England Women’s Academy.
Adele Thomas selection for the National Festivals team tour to Barbados.
U13 players – Lauren Turner, Katie Scriven, Maddie Bowsher and Anushay Toqir were selected in the National Festivals U15 side.
End of season awards went to
Updated 22:21 - 21 May 2018 by Dave Wright
U11 – Players' Player – Poppy Tulloch; Most improved - Molly Bulteel
U13 Fawns – Players' Player – Kali-Ann Docherty; Most improved – Ruth Payne
U13 County – Player’s Player – Lauren Turner; Most improved – Poppy Evans
U15 – Players' Player – Rhiana Heer; Coaches award – Lucy Beal
U17 – Players' Player – Rachel Andre; Most improved – Catherine Guppy
It has been great to see so many girls playing cricket not only for Berkshire but we are now seeing a good set of numbers of girls at younger age groups playing club cricket. We are looking forward to next season as these girls continue to grow and flourish within a very successful pathway program.