Former players help Yorks youngsters

 

Yorkshire’s former players have dipped into their funds to help the cash-strapped club send their two newly-contracted youngsters on the tour to Barbados on March 13-25.

Moin Ashraf and Gurman Randhawa have both received a grant of £1,000 from the Yorkshire Players’ Association to cover the cost of making the trip.

The grants are the first of their kind, but it is hoped that many more will follow. Association chairman Bryan Stott, who opened the batting in the great team of the 1960s, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have agreed to give financial assistance to these two outstanding young cricketers. I am certain that they will enjoy the tour and benefit from it enormously.”

Bradford-born Ashraf, 19, is a paceman who burst on the County Championship scene late last summer by taking three crucial wickets in Yorkshire’s triumph at Trent Bridge.

He then claimed five for 32, his side’s best bowling figures of the season, against Kent at Headingley Carnegie. In the two matches he captured nine wickets at 11.77.

Randhawa, also 19, from Huddersfield, is a left-arm spinner who has won the YCCC Academy Player of the Year award for the past two seasons. He was easily Yorkshire’s most successful bowler in the Second XI Championship in 2010 with 32 wickets at 20.15 and a best performance of six for 98.

Meanwhile, opening batsman Joe Sayers expects to be fully fit for the start of the season after being ruled out from the end of June last year by a mystery fatigue-based illness.

It took two months of tests before doctors came up with a diagnosis which allowed Sayers to embark on the slow road to recovery. “It was on June 27 that I woke up on the first morning of our match at Old Trafford and felt in a bad way,” he said.

“It was very frustrating not to be able to play any further part in the season. I’ve been back in training since the turn of the year. I’ve been careful not to push it too hard, but I’m very confident that I’ll be ready for the start of the season.”

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