YORKSHIRE County Cricket Club, together with Lahore Qalandars from the Pakistan Super League (PSL), have announced the first step in their search for undiscovered cricketing talent following their recently agreed partnership.

This summer, aspiring players aged 18 or over 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 managing director of Yorkshire, Darren Gough, alongside representatives from the Qalandars coaching team.

Times and dates for the trials trials are currently being finalised and will be announced in due course.

The most talented players will be divided into four teams to play a Finals Day.

From these games, the best two female and best two male cricketers will be chosen for scholarships with Yorkshire CCC, 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.

This activity forms the first step of a longer-term vision for the partnership between the two clubs to improve access to the sport.

The programme takes inspiration from the Qalandars’ world-famous Players Development Program (PDP).

This platform, for players to showcase their cricketing potential through open trials, has so far engaged over half a million young people across Pakistan, and brought down traditional socio-economic barriers to the sport.

Entrants must not be on a professional cricketing contract, and must be 18 years of age or over. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

Professor Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford OBE, who is the chairman of Yorkshire, said: “Our partnership with Lahore Qalandars is an exciting moment as we continue to rebuild Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and we are incredibly excited at the opportunity for four players to join us as a part of our new scholarship programme.

“Lack of accessibility to the sport and constrained developmental pathways into professional cricket have been among the many criticisms we have faced in recent months.

“While this is an initial trial, the scholarship programme is designed to help make cricket more accessible to all. We want to ensure an open and supportive pathway for aspiring talent across Yorkshire and beyond.”

Gough added: “I am thrilled to be able to welcome undiscovered talent to Headingley.

“Across Yorkshire, and the UK, there are so many amateur clubs with fantastic standards of cricket, and I am passionate about making sure talented players from all backgrounds are given the chance to access better facilities, develop their skills, and train with some of the best players in the world.

“I cannot wait to see the standard of the players and I am sure we will be spoilt for choice for our eventual winners.”

Details of how to register will be announced soon.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire have confirmed that the friendly match announced between the club and Lahore Qalandars in Lahore this Sunday has been postponed.

Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 developments globally, and 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.