Joe Root launches 'R66t to Hardball' state school for youngsters

CALLING all Joe Roots of the future. A new U12 state school hardball league is being launched across Yorkshire with the aid of a project dear to the heart of the former Test captain.

The YCB “R66T to Hardball” U12 Cricket Competition is a partnership between the Yorkshire Cricket Board and The R66T Academy, a not-for-profit organisation created by the Root family to support the playing and coaching of cricket at all levels.

The R66T Foundation is the Academy’s charitable arm, and one of its objectives is to support the playing of cricket in state schools.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new U12 competition will involve 20 teams across the four regions of Yorkshire (north, south, east and west), with five places available in each region on a first-come, first-served basis.

Joe Root has launched a new cricketing school (Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)Joe Root has launched a new cricketing school (Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Joe Root has launched a new cricketing school (Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Sides will play 10-a-side pairs games to ensure full involvement, with each team playing four matches in its region and the winner from each region advancing to finals day.

To help launch the league, a special fundraising dinner is being held at Eversheds Sutherland in Leeds on May 4, which will feature special guests Matt Root (Joe’s father), the former England off-spinner Geoff Miller, and the former Yorkshire batsman Kevin Sharp.

This complements another fundraising dinner in London on April 28, with proceeds from both events going to support the league through coaching, match balls, T-shirts and transport assistance for those teams who get through to finals day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nick Gaywood, project manager of The R66T Academy, said: “The new competition aims to support secondary schools by encouraging new players to play hardball cricket, also creating a logical pathway into the current Yorkshire Cricket Board Chance to Compete U13 and U15 hardball events. The rules are very inclusive and build on the existing softball initiatives running in many primary schools.

“It’s vital that state school cricket has a profile, and if you don’t have cricket on your agenda, or if the kids at school don’t know what cricket is, it loses potential spectators and potential new players.”

For any questions concerning the new league, contact Nick Gaywood at [email protected]

To submit a league entry application, email Donna Staniland at [email protected]

If you are interested in attending either fundraising dinner, email [email protected]

Related topics: