Leicestershire Youth League Teams

The cricket season is coming soon and we are all looking forward to an exciting summer of cricket. We will have Under 11s, Under 13s, Under 15s and Under 17s – all competing in the Leicestershire Youth League, various cup competitions and other fixtures.

Registration for 2015 will include the following:

  • All match fees
  • Representing CCA/HTCC junior teams (and senior teams for older players)
  • New club training shirt, sweater and cap
  • A copy of the Junior Handbook
  • 5 specialist indoor and outdoor training session (dates to be advised at the time of registration)
  • 10% discount on any cricket kit or equipment purchased from the CCA shop
  • Call or email us for further information

    If you would like to join our junior league teams this season please contact us

CCA team up with Hoggy

We have joined up with England Test legend Matthew Hoggard MBE to offer new and improved international tours, masterclasses and coaching.

A press conference was staged last month at the CCA to launch Matthew Hoggard Cricket, with journalists from Sky Sports, Cricket World, BBC Radio Leicester and the Leicester Mercury in attendance.

The tours to destinations including, Dubai, India, South Africa and Sri Lanka, will be open to all ages and abilities. They take place over the winter or early spring to prepare players for the cricket season and will normally be for a period of up to 12 days or more. There is also the opportunity to organise bespoke tours for clubs, schools or groups.

The first tour will take place in April and will visit Dubai’s ICC Cricket Academy described as the world’s leading cricket development, performance and education institution.

Hoggard, who finished with 248 Test victims and is still joint seventh in the all-time list of England’s highest wicket-takers, said the venture was a perfect opportunity to pass on his skills and techniques to the next generation.

He said: “Touring is such a major factor in the development of a young cricketer, training and playing abroad pushes you out of your comfort zone, hones your skills and provides invaluable experience.

“I have teamed up with the City Cricket Academy to launch this venture because I believe in the benefits of touring and want to ensure more and more youngsters experience touring.”

The first tours will go to Dubai and take place over the following dates:

  • Tour 1: 16th to 25th October, 2015
  • Tour 2: 23rd October to 1st November, 2015

For more information about the tours, visit the Hoggy Cricket website.

Read about the launch of Matthew Hoggard Cricket on the Leicester Mercury’s website.

It’s time to believe in ourselves

We lost against a strong Australian side brimming with confidence, let’s not get too disheartened.

Facing the co-hosts in their opening game was always going to be a tall order, with an expectant home crowd, a pumped-up Mitchell Johnson and a batting line-up packed with power providing the stiffest possible examination for an England side travelling more in hope than expectation.

Chasing 342 was a great opportunity to be flexible with our batting order, to give somebody like Jos Buttler the chance to express himself and get us off to a flyer. Instead, we just reverted to standard practice.

A defeat was arguably always the most likely outcome and although there were some real highlights (most notably James Taylor’s superb innings), it’s impossible to see beyond the fact England were outplayed in pretty much every aspect of the contest.

But one defeat does not necessarily mean the end of the road for this England side. Sure, it makes the size of the task facing them even bigger, but it can also provide clarity to what is needed if they are to progress.

If it wasn’t already apparent, it’s become perfectly clear that the best sides in world cricket right now play without fear. Batsmen are encouraged to express themselves, to play their shots and to think on their feet. Bowlers are urged to take wickets, not contain. This is the World Cup where attack really is the best form of defence.

We’ve seen some extraordinary strokeplay already from the likes of Aaron Finch, Darren Sammy and David Miller. Wouldn’t it be great to add the names of Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan to that list? They all have the ability to do similar, they just need to free themselves of the shackles, get out there and put bat to ball. Give it a right good go.

I mentioned in my first instalment of this World Cup diary that I was concerned whether or not England would be flexible with our batting and bowling and whether we would adapt to the situation. Those concerns remain.

Flexibility is vital for success – you need to be able to assess the situation, think and adapt to what’s happening in the middle.

It’s easy to get caught up in statistics, performance analysis and all the data you have at your disposal in the modern game, and England have a lot, but the fact remains cricket is a game played on grass, not on a computer.

The winner will be determined by who performs best ‘in the moment’ with either bat or ball. Split-second decisions can win or lose games and we need to be brave enough to go for it when it comes to the crunch.

Next up for England is New Zealand in the early hours of Friday morning. It’ll be another tough one but if we can learn from the mistakes we made against Australia and commit to playing a brand of entertaining, aggressive cricket, we can do it. It’s time to believe in ourselves and take Ireland’s lead – they achieved an excellent result against the West Indies. It’s now our time.

Having played in three Cricket World Cups for England, the former Leicestershire all-rounder is now an expert cricket consultant based in the county and an Associate of the City Cricket Academy.

Dates for Your Diary

  • May Half Term Camp – Tuesday 26th to Friday 29th May 2015
  • Mini Premier League (Under 10s) – Sunday 7th and 28th June 2015
  • Summer Camp – 13th July to 28th August 2015
  • Colour Clothing Tournament Week 1 (Under 10s and Under 16s) – Monday 10th to Friday 14th August 2015
  • Colour Clothing Tournament Week 2 (Under 12s and Under 14s) – Monday 17th to 21st August 2015 Friday

Best chance since 1992 – but will we be bold enough?

This year has the potential to be big for English cricket. I think we’ve got the best opportunity of lifting the sport’s greatest one-day prize for 23 years. And then there’s the Ashes.

Despite my optimism, however, I do have a few slight reservations. I have been wrestling with a few questions. Will we be brave enough to go out with aggression? What style of cricket are we going to play, are we going to express ourselves?

Will we be bold enough to change gears with the batting order when required? I know that’s one way England can definitely improve.

[pullquote]This year’s crop has a chance because I see similarities with 92. We have a perfect blend of youth and experience, we have all-rounders, we have flair.[/pullquote]Are we going to be flexible with our batting and bowling if the situation dictates? Flexibility is vital for success – you need to be able to adapt to the game.

Are we going to be versatile with the death bowlers? Will Morgan have the gumption to deliver a surprise package, the ability to lead with gut instinct, go against conventions, go against any coaching direction?

I have played in three Cricket World Cups. In the 92 Cricket World final where I was part of a perfectly-balanced team packed with all-rounders, including myself, Botham, Lewis, Pringle and Illingworth, Hicky, Stewart alongside Gooch and Lamby and Neil Fairbrother.

We just fell short of glory that year against a strong Pakistani team – including names such as Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq – and we haven’t been able to fulfil our promise in international, 50-over cricket ever since.

Maybe that’s because we’ve focused too much on Test cricket especially on the back of the 2005 Ashes triumph, or maybe because we just haven’t had the right collection of players.

One factor behind the team I had privilege to play in is that we were settled, the majority of us had played together for years. We had played a lot of one-day cricket together.

What does worry me is the fact that up until month ago on the Sri Lanka tour, we were still tinkering with the starting line up.

But despite this and the reservations I have already mentioned, this year’s crop has a chance because I see similarities with 92. We have a perfect blend of youth and experience, we have all-rounders, we have flair.

I’m excited by Jos Butler, I think this is his time, while rookies like Woakes, Finn and Taylor all have the talent to excel.

Add to this the experience of Ian Bell, who should, and can, bat for 50 overs, and that of Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, and I believe we have a team with the opportunity to go one better than we did in 1992.