BACKGROUND TO THE PATHWAYS TO EXCELLENCE SCHEME
The Pathways to Excellence Scheme is an amalgam of the Winter Coaching Schemes, previously run by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the Yorkshire Cricket Association and the Yorkshire Schools CA. The amalgamation took place with the advent of the ECB and the Yorkshire Cricket Board on 1/1/97 and was designed to be the sole recommended path to the top of the Cricket ladder for the best young players from all areas of the old three Ridings in any one year group.
All Students in the Scheme are under 19 years of age on 1 September of the previous year.
The Scheme runs as follows.
Level I Students are those now contracted to the Yorkshire CCC, either on Scholarship forms or with the Academy.
Students at Level II (A) are at the former Centre of Cricket Excellence. These Students are those whose next move will be to a contract if they are good enough. They have perhaps played for England Schools or for Yorkshire at U17 level in the Texaco County Championship.
Students at Level II (B) are at the former Regional ATCs. These are often the very best of the younger crop. They will probably have played for Yorkshire Schools or the YCA U16 XI.
Students at Level III are those who have just come to the attention of selectors for various regional representative sides, such as Bradford or Leeds Schools, or in the Lords Taverners tournaments at either U13 or U15 level or who are on the verge of such selection. Some may have played for Yorkshire Schools (A or B XIs).
The vast majority of Students enter at Level III, at one of seven coaching Centres aimed at this level.
If a Student shows exceptional promise, he can be fast-tracked to the next level, or up two levels in extremely rare cases.
The courses do not simply cover net practice, although this is part of the syllabus. Specialist batting, bowling and wicket-keeping coaching is available. Physical fitness is also introduced to these youngsters and professional warm-up and warm-down movements are taught.
The best Students from all levels are invited to extra nets at the Yorkshire Cricket School in mid-week during the Winter months under the tutelage of the County Club`s own Coaches.