FOLLOWING THE success of last year's Talent Search held at Lowerhouse Cricket Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club will host trials at Emirates Old Trafford next month to identify more talented young players with a view to them being considered to represent Manchester in the Lord's Taverners City Cup.
As part of the Lancashire Way project, players from the South Asian community in East Lancashire were invited for a trial at Lowerhouse last year. Out of 29 youngsters who attended, 14 were selected by Level 4 coaches at Lancashire County Cricket Club.
After a number of cricket matches, including two t20 matches and a 45-over game, brothers Minhaj and Mo Bhada from East Lancashire were selected to represent Manchester in the 2013 Lord's Taverners City Cup.
This year, trials are to be held at the indoor cricket centre at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday 11 February between 6pm and 8pm. Players will be arranged into two age groups: 16 to 19 and 20 to 23.
The sessions, which will be run by county coaches, are open to everybody from a South Asian background and who lives Trafford, Manchester and Salford (Please note: valid ID must be produced on the night).
Successful participants will be invited to represent Manchester in the nationwide Lord's Taverners City Cup which gets underway in July this year.
Rudra Singh, Education Manager/Black and Ethnic Minority Lead Officer of the Lancashire Cricket Board, said: Participation in cricket has traditionally been very strong within South Asian communities. Over 40% of current regular cricketers in England are non-white, making cricket one of the most diverse sports.
To harness the interest of the population from the Indian subcontinent heritage is an important step for cricket in Lancashire through The Lancashire Way project. There's a huge untapped demand for more participation amongst the South Asian community. We know a lot of South Asians play cricket outside the traditional affiliated club network.
To build on our work within the Minority Ethnic Communities over the past number of years this initiative compliments the ECB's strengthened commitment to engage with South Asian cricketing communities to make a real and lasting impact.
The concept of Lancashire's Got Talent 2014' is both imaginative and exciting. This is designed to identify the talented players, in the main, from Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan antecedents in and around the Manchester area, many of whom still play ad-hoc cricket in Sunday park leagues. Who knows we could be discovering the next Nasser Hussain, Mark Ramprakash, Monty Panesar or even find a talent like Sachin Tendulkar or Wasim Akram.
Bobby Denning, Acting Director of the Lancashire Cricket Board, added: This element of the Lancashire Way demonstrates how the initiative can add value to the current levels of activity and programmes in the area.
Within the City of Manchester, we have a number of groups playing the game within the city parks. We also have the Adults StreetChance programme operating within Greater Manchester.
The Lancashire Way provides the opportunity for these existing participants to engage with Lancashire Coaches and to show their talent. Without the Lancashire Way, this opportunity wouldn't exist and who knows, we may miss that potential gem of a player!
A registration form must be filled in and handed in on the evening along with valid ID. The form is available here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applications is Monday 3 February.