Garstang CC and Longridge CC are looking to the next generation of players
Garstang CC and Longridge CC have both acknowledged the truncated 2020 season has brought one extra benefit.
A later start to the campaign as a result of Covid-19 saw a two-and-a-half-month season featuring matches on Saturdays, Sundays and in midweek across a number of different competitions and formats.
That condensed schedule meant clubs were able to rotate their teams and give opportunities to younger players, who might have otherwise felt disenfranchised at the prospect of no cricket after a winter’s training.
“Everyone has done really well because we had the problem of how we could integrate the better second teamers into the first team,” said Longridge’s Ian Simpson.
“For example, we have a strong bowling unit in the first team but we’ve also got some good ones who are coming through from the seconds.
“That integration is a great problem to have but we’re going to work hard over the winter and come up with a plan.
“There’s a couple of us who aren’t getting any younger and the young lads deserve the opportunity.
“At the same time though, they have to understand the step up there is between second and first-team cricket.”
It’s a theme echoed by Garstang first XI skipper Mark Walling.
They fostered a feeling of togetherness during the 2020 season with teams, young and old, watching each other when commitments allowed.
“We’ve managed to give some young lads a go in the second team, a couple in the first team and in the T20,” he said.
“They have had a good chance to develop and have given us a good platform to have a look at players who might not have had a chance in a normal season.
“I think we’ve got a good batch of youngsters coming through at 14 or 15 years of age, so it’s been good to keep them interested going into next year.”