Worcestershire’s Academy Coach, Elliot Wilson, has highlighted the benefits of playing more competitive cricket ahead of Sunday’s Birmingham Premier League Graham Williamson Trophy semi-final away to Ombersley (12.30pm start).
The Academy are playing in ECB T20, 50 over and three-day competitions this summer in addition to the GWT, in which they have already claimed the scalps of Halesowen and holders Barnt Green.
Now the County’s posse of youngsters will be looking to clinch a spot in the final at Barnt Green on Sunday, May 1.
Wilson said: “The jeopardy of this cricket has brought the best out of the lads. They’ve really come to life playing some competitive cricket with some jeopardy, win or lose.
“It’s a cup competition, and the group is now of an age where they can compete at this level.
“They are thoroughly enjoying this opportunity to mix it with some Birmingham Premier League sides.
“Is it important to play competitive cricket? We naturally play a lot of development type cricket. Still, the conversation we had with the group of Academy directors and heads of talent pathways was there needs to be more cricket played where there is something on it.
“All the Academy-Under-18 competitions are now competitive, the T20, 50 over and three-day competitions.
“On top of that, to play in the GWT is just great competitive cricket.
“Barnt Green put a very competitive side on the park, and the lads should be chuffed to bits that they outplayed them.”
Wilson has been pleased with the performances in progressing to the semi-finals.
He said: “It will be a day with the opportunity to play in a final, and you don’t get to play in many finals, professionally or at club level, or the chance to win many things.
“To have a chance of getting to a final, it’s an excellent experience for everyone.
“The lads have been outstanding. Ollie Walker was clearly the stand-out performer against Halesowen with 130 in the first round, and last week I thought the bowlers were excellent.
“Reeve Evitts and Ben Parker were very good with the new ball, and Joe Stanley captained the side very well.”
Henry Cullen +
Joe Stanley *