Winter Down Under will help Leaning push for regular Yorkshire place (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Winter Down Under will help Jack Leaning push for regular Yorkshire place
Yorkshire youngster Jack Leaning aims to use a winter away in Australia as a stepping stone to more first-team cricket with the county next summer.
The former England under-19s batsman, still aged 19, jets off to Sydney on Monday to play a campaign of grade cricket with the Sutherland club, who are coached by former White Rose veteran Phil Jaques.
Leaning debuted in the LV= County Championship and Friends Life t20 in 2013.
And although he posted a duck in his four-day bow against Surrey, he recovered to impress in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition by taking 5-22 against the Unicorns with his ever improving off-spinners and then hitting 60 against Somerset a few days later.
“I was pretty pleased with how the season went, especially how I started,” said the Bristol-born player now based in York.
“I started really well in the second team, particularly in the shorter form of the game. I was also very pleased with how it finished in the first team, getting a five-for and a fifty.
“I loved the experience of playing in the first team, and it made me want it more. Hopefully I can push for a more regular place in the side in all forms.
“Sometimes you don’t adapt as quickly as you’d like, and it takes longer. I just needed one thing to go right, which it did. It was a big boost to my confidence.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, to play a season abroad. I get on with Jaquesy, and it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill that.”
Ironically, Jaques’s departure from Yorkshire last month to concentrate on his coaching career with Sutherland has opened up a spot in the top order for Leaning to aim at.
“You want to play at as high a level as you can. Hopefully I’ll have a good time away, a good pre-season and take my chance if and when I get it in the first team,” he added.
Leaning will play against some quality opposition until March, with Australian state and international players often playing grade cricket. But it looks like he will miss out on a meeting with David Warner by a fortnight.
Warner was in hot water earlier this week for skipping a day of grade cricket with Randwick Petersham. He has been ordered to play the next three Saturdays for them. They face Sutherland in mid-November.
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