Why coach Rich Pyrah believes The Hundred can help produce Yorkshire CCC’s next superstars
RICH PYRAH believes that The Hundred can help Yorkshire to unearth their next cricketing superstars.
The new 100-ball competition clashes with the Royal London Cup, which means that Yorkshire will be missing most of their senior players for the 50-over tournament and will field a mostly young and inexperienced team.
Pyrah, the Yorkshire bowling coach who will lead the 50-over side while first XI coach Andrew Gale is part of the coaching staff for the Headingley-based 100-ball franchise Northern Superchargers, said a knock-on effect is that Yorkshire could discover the ‘next big things’.
“Can we find more superstars for Yorkshire? That’s the really exciting thing for me,” said Pyrah.
“During this comp, can some of our younger lads stand up and put their names forward and give us other options for T20, say, or other options for the Championship? There’s going to be some great opportunities.
“Hopefully, some of these young lads will be able to step up and show what they can do and help us to find the next Yorkshire superstars.
“We’ve lost 10 players to The Hundred, but that’s only going to give opportunities to those who might not otherwise have got those opportunities.
“There’s a lot been talked about The Hundred, but what it will do is give a lot of opportunities to younger players in general in the 50-over comp.
“We’re still going to have a couple of senior players around, the likes of Gary Ballance and Dom Bess, and for our younger lads to be around those guys will also be great for their development.”
Pyrah considers the 50-over Cup to be something of a free-hit for Yorkshire, given the lack of experience and expectation on them. But although winning is perhaps not the be-all and end-all, he still wants a strong performance from the team.
“To say that we’re going to win the competition is probably unrealistic,” he admitted.
“There’s a number of teams who’ve lost no players (to The Hundred), and I know they’re taking it seriously to try and win the competition.
“The likes of Northants in our group have only lost a couple of players, so they’re going to be pretty strong; I know Essex have only lost one player, and they’ve signed an overseas player for the tournament as well.
“There’s going to be such varied squads about, and I just think it’s really exciting for the game in general for younger players to have an opportunity at first-team level, which they probably wouldn’t have got if The Hundred wasn’t there.
“So I’m not saying we’re going to win it (the 50-over Cup), or anything like that, but if our lads play to their potential and keep on growing, then who knows where we’ll get to?
“Realistically, we’ve lost 10 of our frontline white-ball players, so we’re starting with a new team. We obviously want to try and win every game, but the biggest thing for me is seeing our lads develop as first-team cricketers.
“At the end of the day, you can play as much second-team cricket as you want, but the development stops until you start to play first-team cricket.”
Pyrah, 38, is also relishing the chance to take charge of the side and to further his personal development.
The former Yorkshire all-rounder has worked under Gale for several years and is keen to expand his coaching horizons.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he added. “I’ve never been in charge of a team before, so to get this opportunity at quite a young age is fantastic for me.
“I’ve spent a lot of time around the white-ball game, and it’s something that excites me – to try and apply my knowledge and to let these young lads go out and play a brand of cricket that’s going to be attacking and fearless. It will be a brand new team, and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I love what I’m doing at Yorkshire. I’m still learning as a bowling coach, and it’s something that I want to take as far as I can.
“I’ve had opportunities with the England U19s this winter, and hopefully a couple more opportunities will come along this winter as well.
“To have this chance to lead a team gives me more experience, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The Royal London Cup starts on July 22. The 18 counties are split into two non-regionalised groups of nine, with each team playing eight group games followed by the knockouts.
No play was possible on day two of Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Lancashire at Headingley due to rain. Umpires Nigel Llong and Ian Gould called a halt shortly after a post-lunch inspection. Lancashire reached 273-2 on day one.