Adam Lyth: Youth policy helps to keep Yorkshire strong

Yorkshire's opening batsman Adam Lyth's weekly column for The Scarborough News
Yorkshire's opening batsman Adam Lyth's weekly column for The Scarborough News

We have a great Academy set-up at Yorkshire, with most of the current crop of players having graduated from the junior set-up at our club.

Other counties also have academies but I think ours seems to produce more first-term players than most.

Will Rhodes hits out during his  century for the Yorkshire Acadamy against Doncaster on bank holiday monday 100480b Picture Steve Riding

Will Rhodes hits out during his century for the Yorkshire Acadamy against Doncaster on bank holiday monday 100480b Picture Steve Riding

I came up through the system, as did Joe Root, who is on duty with the England ODI team at the moment.

It is only a couple of years since Joe was given a chance for Yorkshire and he took it with both hands, with an England call-up not long afterwards.

He is a great player and is very highly rated, but there are plenty of promising young players on the verge of the first team here at Yorkshire.

All-rounder Will Rhodes (pictured) and batsman Jonny Tattersall are two of the names to watch out for, with a local lad, Ryan Gibson from Staithes, also pushing for a first-team spot at the moment.

As I am also from the Whitby area I know a lot about Ryan, who made his debut at Scarborough last season in the 40-over format.

I have always been of the opinion that if you are good enough it should not matter how young you are, and the likes of Joe Root and last season my fellow opener Alex Lees have shown how quickly they can adapt to the first-class game.

Thankfully it looks like England also have the same attitude as they gave Joe a debut when he was only 21, and if they keep showing their faith in young players then their fortunes should revive.

Even though the likes of Joe and Gary Ballance were missing for the crunch Roses clash in the County Championship, we still had a very strong squad, with the fact that Tim Bresnan was released by England to join us a massive boost.

Tim is a cracking all-round cricketer and adds an extra dimension on the batting front as he is a very accomplished player to have coming in lower down the order.

As well as his undoubted abilities as a bowler, he also is a great fielder.

There is a lot of competition for places this season at Yorkshire, I think this is the strongest squad we have had in my time with the first-team and it is brilliant as it keeps every one of us on our toes.

As a youngster I was a very keen footballer as well as a cricketer.

But once I chose cricket as my profession I had to concentrate all of my efforts on that sport and could not take the risk of picking up any injuries in football that may jeopardise my cricketing career going forward.

Despite this I am still very interested in football and am looking forward to the World Cup, hopefully the lads will get a chance to watch a few games, especially the England matches - as long as they are not on too late.

There is a great atmosphere among the Yorkshire lads at the moment, and getting together to watch the England games is another great example of how we all get along so well.

We have had a cracking start to the season and are up there fighting for the division one championship.

We are very keen to stay grounded and not get too far ahead of ourselves though and must stay focused.