A friendly cricket match between the Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) and Lahore Qalandar which was scheduled for January 16 at the Ghaddafi Stadium in Lahore, has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 challenges globally, it has been announced.
“For the safety and wellness of all players, it has been decided that it is appropriate to reschedule the match to a later date, which will be confirmed in due course,” the statement issued by the club said.
The statement further said that the first step on its search for undiscovered cricketing talent following the recently signed partnership between the two clubs will be held in the upcoming summer.
“In summer 2022, aspiring players over 18-years-old will be invited to demonstrate their cricketing potential during trials across the four regions of North, East, South and West Yorkshire in front of a selection panel led by the interim YCCC Managing Director Darren Gough, alongside representatives from the Qalandars coaching team.”
The club however, said that the schedule for the trials are currently being finalised and will be announced soon.
As per the details, the most talented players will be divided into four teams to play in a final and the best two females and best two male cricketers will be chosen for scholarships with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, including the opportunity to travel to Lahore and train at the Qalandars’ elite high-performance centre, as well as a full kit bag provided for all the winners to keep.
Earlier in December 2021, the YCCC and the Qalandars had signed a partnership which will witness a player exchange programme with an aim to enable international players to learn from each other.
After the signing, the county club had said that it wants to “learn from and emulate Lahore Qalandars’ Players Development Program (PDP)” which looks to scout and upskill players from across Pakistan.
The deal was also aimed for scholarships for young, aspiring players from Yorkshire who will be travelling, training, and playing in Lahore, including access to the Qalandars’ first-class facilities, as well as opportunities for young people from Pakistan to come to Yorkshire.
Commenting on the partnership, Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, had said: “The work the Lahore Qalandars do both on and off the pitch is remarkable and can serve as a benchmark for clubs around the world – ours included – for how best to spot, foster and support talent at all levels in the game of cricket.”
“The Players Development Program is an incredible achievement – breaking the mould for how teams can be created within our sport, and demonstrating that through offering access and support, great cricketing talent can be found from all backgrounds,” he added.
On the other hand, Sameen Rana, Chief Operating Officer, Lahore Qalandars had expressed: “We are incredibly proud of our Players Development Program and our wider team in Lahore. The Program has had an immensely positive impact on both our club and those involved. We are looking forward to working with Darren, Lord Patel and the team as they look to create an inclusive and welcoming culture for all at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”
Notably, the Qalandars have a similar partnership with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars.