London ball

Yorkshire v Northamptonshire – Royal London Cup: Ali Maiden is looking for Yorkshire players to learn and develop in a 50+ year competition

Good nickname: Will Fraine, above, contributed with 88 from 37 deliveries against Northumberland in Yorkshire’s final warm-up before starting their Royal London Cup campaign. Photos: Allan McKenzie/

The county assistant coach takes charge of the squad for the 50+ competition while head coach Ottis Gibson is away at The Hundred as James Foster’s assistant with Headingley-based Northern Superchargers.

Although Maiden clearly won’t have the same firepower at his disposal as Brendon McCullum as England head coach, he wants his men to adopt the same positive philosophy as Yorkshire take on Northamptonshire at the venue. of Clifton Park in the first of eight group matches before the knockout stages.

The home side will be without Gary Ballance, who tested positive for Covid, in what was expected to be his first appearance for the first team in a competitive game since his involvement in Azeem Rafiq’s racism crisis.

Stepping up: Yorkshire will be under manager Ali Maiden, left, in the Royal London Cup, while Ottis Gibson works with the Hundred Northern Superchargers franchise. Photo by Allan McKenzie/

“I want people to come out and be positive and try to entertain and that’s how we’ll look to play,” Maiden said.

“We don’t have many players anymore (because of The Hundred); by my last count it was around 14 that we could use, but that means there may be opportunities for the players who were looking for them in the second team, and now they have the opportunity to really going to show their talent .

“That’s how I want the team to play. I’m not very bothered, especially in one day cricket, by the milestones, the hundreds, the five for, the fifty, things like that, I’m bothered by winning cricket matches and people who perform to help us win games.

While winning is the primary ambition, it’s not the be-all and end-all of a 50-plus-year-old tournament that’s now more about nurturing young players than anything else.

Chance: Matt Revis has the opportunity to make an impression in the first team, with nine players from Yorkshire serving at Hundred. Photo by Allan McKenzie/

Yorkshire are among the worst hit by The Hundred in terms of player burnout, with nine first-team squads unavailable due to the tournament starting on Wednesday, with the Superchargers’ opener taking place at Manchester Originals on Friday.

Harry Brook, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid and David Willey all play for the Superchargers; Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Dawid Malan and Joe Root are in action for Trent Rockets, and Jordan Thompson is with London Spirit and Jonny Bairstow with Welsh Fire.

Yorkshire would have had 10 players involved in the 100-ball competition, but Matthew Fisher’s deal with Birmingham Phoenix was called off due to injury, with the England pace setter hoping he could still play a part towards the end of the season following a stress fracture. back.

“You obviously want to win,” added Maiden, “you want to win every game, but this competition, in general, is now considered a development competition, and my view always with development, especially at this type of level, is that you’re trying to help players develop their skills to win matches, so while you can’t take away that winning part, if you lose you can usually take a lot out of it as well.

“It’s a balance. Obviously we really want to win, but the most important thing is that the players learn and develop their skills.”

Yorkshire had a bit of the best of both worlds last year, reaching the quarter-finals while developing the likes of Harry Duke, George Hill, Will Luxton and Matty Revis.

It was exciting and encouraging to see such players take their chances and get noticed, as they now have a bit more experience to call on this year.

The competition also offers – as it did for Yorkshire last year when then-assistant manager Rich Pyrah took charge of the 50-plus team while head coach of the time, Andrew Gale, was absent with the Superchargers – the opportunity for the coaches to develop as well.

Maiden, who specializes as a batting coach, relishes the opportunity to take charge of the team and increase his learning in this leadership role.

“I feel like this is a really good opportunity for me,” he said. “I haven’t been here long, so it’s an opportunity to have a better relationship with the players and to really take the team a bit, to spend time with the players in a different role, which is quite enjoyable and quite exciting.. I’m really looking forward to it.

“I obviously spent a lot of time with Ottis (Gibson) so I’m going to follow a lot of those posts, a lot of the things that we’ve already done, and build on that work.

“I’ve had several conversations with Ottis about how we’re going to play, the squad setup, things like that, so it’s really about trying to have continuity in what we’re going to do. “

Yorkshire warmed up for their opener by beating national counties side Northumberland by 148 points at South North CC on Sunday.

Ballance made his first first-team appearance of any kind since last September, scoring the highest score with 95 from just 25 balls as Yorkshire went 290-5 in a rain-reduced game to 23 overs per side . Will Fraine contributed with 88 out of 37 deliveries.

Matthew Waite was the most successful bowler with 3-16 from five overs as Northumberland finished 142-8 in Jonny Tattersall’s first game as Yorkshire captain after replacing Steve Patterson in the role until the end of the season.

Yorkshire (since): Bean, Cliff, Duke, Fraine, Hill, Luxton, Loten, Revis, Shutt, Sullivan, Tattersall (captain), Waite.