At Harrow CC we firmly believe that for junior players cricket shouldn't just stop once they start taking GCSE's or once they are no longer colts. For their continued development and enjoyment of the game it is important to have a bridge between colts cricket and adult cricket. This is why we run the Harrow Hurricanes, two teams that play in the best U19 and U21 competitions in Middlesex. Both competitions are played in coloured clothing and use pink balls. The U19 competition is a T20 format played on Fridays, the U21 competition is a longer format 40 overs per side played on Sundays. We have players aged between 14-20 playing in these competitions. Both of these teams are managed by qualified coaches.
Middlesex Development League (MDL)
The Middlesex Development League (MDL) aims to inspire young people to play the game competitively, and in the Spirit of Cricket. Primarily engaging 16-21 year olds, Middlesex Cricket set up The MDL to respond to the needs of clubs in relation to the ongoing development of younger players. The competition:
- Bridges the gap in standard between age group and Saturday league cricket
- Provides an additional platform for young players to express their ability in a format longer than T20
- Integrates young players into open age cricket within a supportive learning environment
- Increases player retention within clubs, thus adding to their long-term sustainability.
All 40 over matches take place on Sundays, once school, college and university exams have finished in mid-June. The six-week Group Stage is arranged geographically and a minimum of seven players must be an Under 21 or below. All players wear coloured clothing and games are played with the pink ball.
Natwest U19 Club T20
This T20 competition was developed through player insight to combat a national trend within clubs – young players dropping out of the game after Under 15s. The insight ECB gathered from 1,000 young players (current and lapsed) included these key factors:
- 16–19 year olds want to play with their friends
- Young players are keen to develop their own skills by taking more responsibility (volunteering)
- They want short formats, with coloured kit and a lively atmosphere where friends can watch.
In Middlesex, the competition was launched county-wide in 2015, with 15 teams entering the first year. Recent research has shown that two-thirds of clubs saw lapsed players returning to play, and 77% of clubs have seen an increase in revenue due to U19 T20 matches.
To learn more please watch this short video on the U19 T20 competition.