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19th April 2023 Representative

John Windows previews boys’ Academy and pathway season

Durham Cricket Academy Director John Windows has praised the efforts shown by the boys’ Academy and Pathway squads this winter, as they prepare to kick off the 2023 season. 

The Academy side which will be skippered by Haydon Mustard this summer, kick off their season on Wednesday away to Lancashire in what is the start of a busy season for all the age groups and Academy side – while the boys’ pathway begins on Tuesday 25 April as the under-14s travel to Durham school.

Windows said: “This time of the year is always really exciting, from the players receiving their new kit to scoring that first run or taking their first wicket, they are ready to get out playing and want to perform well and everyone is optimistic about what we can achieve.

“All the players have worked hard from October through the winter and into the spring so the chance to now start playing and getting back into matches is something everyone enjoys.

“All our age group teams are packed with talent and this is really pleasing to see again this year.

“Haydon Mustard will captain the Academy this summer, we really encourage lads to take leadership roles on with both hands and encourage them to learn from the role as much as possible. Ben McKinney did a great job and that has seen him progress as 2XI captain for this season.

Former Durham keeper-batter Stuart Poynter has returned to the club as Performance Pathway coach, coaching the boys’ under 12s and under 13s. Stuart Poynter joins up with former Durham seamer Nathan Rimmington who returned to the club in 2021 as part of the coaching team working with Cole Pearce and John Windows.

Windows added: “We have put together a very good coaching team which covers all skills sets giving the guys a chance to learn from coaches who have experienced a wide range of cricket for many years – I am delighted with the coaching team we now have at Durham to continue to develop such a good group of talented players.”

On returning to Durham, Stuart Poynter said: “I am absolutely loving being a back at the club, it feels a little bit like coming home after a year and a bit away.

“It is great to see how much talent we have in the county and I love being part of the team to help them develop and give them some guidance to their progression.

“Hopefully we can keep producing lots of home-grown players for the 1st team and England.”

Windows was once again complimentary of the club network in the region: “The club network continues to be the heartbeat of cricket in the area, as they continue to provide their cricketers with the opportunities which lead to Durham and beyond.

“I must also say a huge thank you to EBAC and Banks Group for their continued support with the pathway and academy teams in sponsoring the teams once again.

“Our partnership with Durham ACO is still flourishing as we provide a number of umpires and scorers with high profile junior representative games, with all officials set to have another busy summer of appointments. We are always looking for officials to be part of our programme.”


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