Yorkshire cricketer Ben Coad has jet-setted off for a trip of a lifetime to learn the craft of the game at Darren Lehmann’s academy in Adelaide.
The 20-year-old fast bowler, who celebrated his birthday two weeks ago, will spend six weeks at the academy for an intensive training programme.
He headed to Australia after being awarded the inaugural Kevin Armitage Scholarship last season, sponsored by Majorie Armitage in memory of her husband.
The scholarship was set up by the Yorkshire Pride Lottery.
“I have never been to Australia, so that will be a new experience to encounter,” said the Studley Royal CC junior.
“I found out at the end of last season that I’d become the first recipient of the award.
“Martyn Moxon (Yorkshire CCC director of cricket) and Ian Dews (academy director) took me into the office and explained that I’d be going.
“I was shocked.
“I’ve been told that it is one of the best development centres in Australia for learning the game.
“Opportunities like this very rarely come around.”
During his six-week programme, Coad will work on his strength, fitness and play in a number of matches.
“Cricket is paramount whilst I’m out there, but I’m looking forward to experiencing Australian life,” he said.
Ben’s father Ken Coad, Studley Royal CC chairman, added: “It is a great honour for Ben to receive this opportunity.
“Our junior set-up has been in operation now for almost 30 years and provided ourselves and many other clubs with good young cricketers, but it is an honour that one is now professional.“
Coad spent most of last season plying his trade for Yorkshire’s second team and academy in the Yorkshire League.
But the youngster made his Headingley bow last summer when he played in the White Rose county’s Yorkshire Bank 40 clash against Gloucestershire last summer.
He added: “I learnt very quickly that there is no room for error. Anything short or full, the batsmen pounced on it straight away.
“It is cruel, but you gain so much from being involved.”
After signing a junior professional contract with the county before Christmas, Coad has also joined Yorkshire League champions York CC for this summer.
And the paceman is hopeful for a successful season with club and county.
Coad added: “My biggest challenge for this year is to work on my strength.
“I’m still growing and I need to get stronger, which will help me bowl quicker.
“If I get the opportunity to play in the first team for Yorkshire, I’ll grab it.
“You never know where that can lead.”