Leicestershire chairman Paul Haywood has admitted that his club is vulnerable to approaches from wealthier Test match counties for the current crop of talented youngsters at Grace Road.
Warwickshire are the first to show their hand with an approach for Leicestershire’s in-contract James Taylor, while paceman Nathan Buck and batsman Greg Smith, who is about to complete his studies at Durham University, are also likely to be on the future shopping list of the bigger clubs.
The off-field events of last year, which led to the departure of respected senior coach Tim Boon, followed by a record loss of £400,000, cannot have helped Leicestershire’s cause but former county batsman Haywood insists that every effort will be made to keep Taylor, Buck and Smith.
“We are always vulnerable to the Test match grounds. Whether they are making profits or losses they do seem to have some sort of budget to go and take other people’s players,” Haywood said.
“With the plans we have financially we hope that we will be in a position to offer James, Nathan or any other young players stability at Leicestershire.
“We have to make sure that off-field matters at the club are right and that they want to stop here. It sends the right message to our members and our sponsors that we are not a feeder side for the bigger clubs and will do our best to keep our younger players.”
Warwickshire’s approach for Taylor is believed to have come in a letter to Haywood from their chairman Norman Gascoigne, who is understood to have sought clearance from the England and Wales Cricket Board before it was sent so that everything was done above board.
But Warwickshire have declined to make any public comment on their approach for Taylor, who signed a three-year contract with Leicestershire two years ago.