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Jack Leaning in the running for longer spell with Tykes
JACK LEANING is set for a run of one-day games as Yorkshire’s hierarchy bid to get the teenage batsman from York settled into the first-team environment.
The 19-year-old batsman will play all of, if not the majority of, the next four one-day matches, starting with today’s 50-over friendly against the touring Bangladesh ‘A’ side at Headingley (10.45am).
After today, the White Rose face three Yorkshire Bank 40 matches against Leicestershire on Sunday, the Unicorns on Tuesday and Somerset on Thursday as they look to add some respectability to their campaign having lost six of eight group ‘C’ matches.
Leaning has played in one LV= County Championship and three Friends Life t20 matches this season on the back of some exceptional form in club cricket and for the county’s second XI.
But he has not scored higher than eight in first-team cricket in 2013.
When speaking about today’s clash with the Bangladeshis, Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie said: “We do see it as an opportunity to have a look at a few guys and to see where they’re at.
“Obviously Jack Leaning’s had an opportunity in the first-team to play in the Championship and a couple of T20s, so this is another opportunity for him.
“We want to get him settled and comfortable in the first-class cricket environment.
“We see this game and the next three YB40s as the ideal chance for Jack to spend some time with the first team and get a little bit of experience – a little bit like we did with Will Rhodes earlier in the season.
“We feel that benefited him. The other day he got 102 off 83 balls for the England Under-19s. We see that as a victory in a way because it’s about exposing these guys to more challenging opponents. You can see whether they sink or swim.”
Yorkshire may have no silverware to play for when they return to YB40 action against the Foxes on Sunday having lost six of eight so far, although Gillespie is desperate to see his side finish the competition with a bang.
“We are certainly better than the results have shown this year,” added the Australian.
“We feel that way. But we do need to show that. We certainly haven’t done it this year.
“We are not hiding behind any excuses.
“We admit we have picked some young guys, but they are good enough. We back them 100 percent, and we are not using any excuses as to why we haven’t performed.
We simply haven’t batted or bowled well enough. That’s really cost us.
“We’re looking to turn that around in the last four games.
“We are going to work incredibly hard to bring a bit of respectability to where we are because we do feel as though we’re better than what we've shown.”
Meanwhile, Yorkshire have been dealt a blow with the news Gary Ballance has been named in the England Lions squad for three oneday matches against Bangladesh ‘A’ between August 20 and 24.
The series clashes with Yorkshire’s Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
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