Staithes’ Yorkshire all-rounder Ryan Gibson is jetting off to Australia for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a top cricket academy.
The 19-year-old has won a place at the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy in Adelaide for six weeks from the beginning of February.
Gibson won the academy place after being named the Yorkshire 2nds player of the year last season.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he told the Whitby Gazette this week.
“It’s not every day you get the chance to go to Australia for six weeks to play cricket.
“The benefit is Australia is traditionally a big cricketing country, so the talent over there will improve my game massively, by working and training every day.”
Part of the scholarship means Gibson will also have a local club side to play for and the move has come at a great time as Australia is hosting the cricket World Cup from the middle of next month.
Contacts in Adelaide will feed back to Yorkshire on Gibson’s progress, so if he performs well, it will give him a huge chance to muscle his way into the Tykes’ first team.
Gibson, a regular in the seconds who has played a handful of one-day games for the firsts, said: “There is a possibility of four to five Yorkshire lads being away on a tour of the Caribbean, so if I can knuckle down and get some runs, the opportunity will be there to get some first team cricket.”
The teenager’s place on the academy was made possible thanks to a scholarship trust which was established by Yorkshire CCC and is given to the academy’s player of the year. All Gibson’s expenses will be paid for.
He leaves for Australia on February 1. His local football side, Staithes Athletic, will lose his services for a chunk of their Teesside League campaign – but the club say they are delighted for him.