HARRY Duke will open the batting in Yorkshire’s new look Royal London one-day Cup team when the competition begins next week.

The county’s assistant coach Rich Pyrah is taking charge of the Vikings team in the absence of Andrew Gale, who is working in the concurrently running Hundred with the Northern Superchargers.

Pyrah believes Duke is one of many youngsters who will get their chance to shine in the RL50, with Yorkshire missing 10 senior players due to their Hundred involvement.

Nineteen-year-old wicketkeeper Duke has encouraged behind the stumps and with the bat in his first four Championship and two T20 appearances for Yorkshire’s first team over the last couple of months.

He has opened briefly in second-team T20 cricket and has a fifty to his name.

Pyrah confirmed: “I’ve been really impressed with Dukey and am keen to give him an opportunity at the top of the order in white ball cricket.

“He reminds me of a young Joe Root when he came through, who probably didn’t have the power but has a good cricket brain.

“We sent Rooty up to the top when he was a youngster, and look what it’s done for him. Let’s see how Dukey goes. His temperament is excellent.”

Yorkshire play eight group games in the RL50 between July 22 and August 12. Their opening game is against Surrey at Scarborough next Thursday.

The top three teams in each of the two nine-team groups qualify for the knockout stages ahead of the final at Trent Bridge on August 19.

All counties will lose players to a varying degree, making the winners of the competition difficult to predict.

Pyrah said: “Realistically we’ve lost 10 of our frontline white-ball players, so we’re starting with a new team. It’s really, really exciting.

“You can feel the excitement among the younger lads because they know there’s opportunities available.

“We’re going to try and win every game - that’s only natural - but for me the development to see these young lads and to see them in first-team cricket is the most exciting thing.

“Hopefully by the end of the tournament, they’ve improved and we’ve found another couple of stars.

“We’re still going to have some senior players around in the likes of Gary Ballance, Dom Bess, Duanne Olivier, Ben Coad and Jonny Tattersall.

“They will all be available. But it’s just about getting the balance right. There’s eight games in quite a short period.

“And with someone like Ben coming off back-to-back Championship games, we’re going to have to look after him. But they will be there and thereabouts.

“We’ll play against Northumberland at Scarborough next Tuesday (in a warm-up 50-over clash) and that is going to give an opportunity to the younger players.”

Pyrah will be appointing a new captain imminently, adding: “We have a few options.

“Steve Patterson is not going to captain the team. He will probably play the odd game and be around as a mentor for the bowlers.

“We’re going to have a new captain, but there are a few things to iron out yet.”