HUDDERSFIELD cricketer Gurman Randhawa will be jetting out to Barbados in a fortnight on Yorkshire’s pre-season tour.
But the tour has only just been given the green light, following the players’ decision to partly fund the 12-day venture themselves.
In light of Yorkshire’s £2m loss last year, a pre-season tour – part of the annual build-up to the new season – was in grave doubt.
But rather than miss what is a very important part of the preparations for the new season which gets under way with a Championship game at Worcester on April 8, the players have offered to part fund the tour (believed to be around 50% of the cost)themselves.
The good news, however, for Drakes Huddersfield League product Randhawa, who is still registered with Broad Oak, is that the Players’ Association have awarded a £1,000 grant to both Gurman and another of Yorkshire’s top young talents, Moin Ashraf.
Director of cricket Martyn Moxon said: “The players were very keen to go on a pre-season tour and they offered to put their hands in their pockets.
“They weren’t forced to do it, but decided it was something they wanted to do, which is evidence of the players’ commitment.”
Randhawa has only just returned from England Under 19’s Test series against Sri Lanka before diving into two weeks intensive training at Loughborough and Headingley.
“The tour went really well, and we drew the two Test matches which were good results, but then we went down 3-1 in the one-day series,” said Randhawa, speaking after Yorkshire’s pre-season Fitness Testing Day at Headingley yesterday.
“It was a great experience, because there is a lot of learning involved when you play cricket on the sub-continent.”
The 19-year-old from Newsome has just signed a two-year deal at Yorkshire as a junior professional and is hoping for another good season in the Seconds (he was Academy player of the Year in 2009 and 2010),which could earn him a debut in the first team.
“Hopefully I’ll be playing in the Second Eleven opener against Durham on April 14 and obviously I want to do well again and force my way into the Firsts.”
He is undecided where he will be playing his club cricket this summer, as the county club are keen for him to join a Yorkshire League club.
Last season Yorkshire visited Barbados pre-season and promptly returned to win three out of their opening five Championship games.