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Giving Youth Its Fling - 2017

At a time when cricket throughout the country is in decline, it is massively encouraging that clubs in ACA Grades are giving youngsters the opportunity to make their mark in the game, including the major breakthrough of the brother and sister duo at Fraserburgh.

From where I sit in the shade and safety of the press box, I suspect that Ryan (11) and Leanne (13) Broadley are just the tip of the iceberg, as more and more young cricketers are being exposed to competitive games in the Grades. More power to these daring, but progressive clubs who clearly see that the future of the game rests in the development of a youth programme.

Among those youngsters who has come to my attention in Adi Hegde an 11 year old all rounder who is now a regular in newly promoted Kemnay-Kintore, winning the praise of his captain Liam Thom. "Adi has been revelation since coming into the side at a time when we had a number of injuries. His technique is first class, but it’s his confidence that takes your breath away. He bats with authority, bowls well, and his all round fielding just superb. He now commands a place in the first team, and is certainly one for the future, as some of our opponents will testify to," said Thom.

Young Hegde's first game was against derby rivals Inverurie in a high scoring game he held his nerve to contain the Kellands Park batsmen to five runs in his first over, even having the temerity to take a wicket. Better was to come as the following week, the talented youngster opened the batting, hanging around for 10 overs to take the edge off the bowling attacks. He then went on to take three Cults wickets for 66 runs in his next outing, confirming Thom's belief that he will be one of the key players in the club's bid to ensure they stay in the top flight of Grades cricket.

"We are not in a good position in the league just now, but I predict we will come good as the season progresses, and hopefully with Adi in the team," said Thom.

Hegde is just one of many making his way in the game, encouraging me to believe the future of the game is assured in the Aberdeen area.

As a mark of my own desire to promote youthful development, I will be presenting an award to the junior of the Year at the end of the season. At the moment Adi Hegde is in pole position, though I would love to hear from other clubs of aspiring youngsters who could qualify for my award.

Players from all four Grades are eligible to win the award which will be judged by a panel of players, but to include myself, as the overall adjudicator.

Report by Jack Nixon

wytbu8  Jun 28 2017 - 4:20am   
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