Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 23rd April 2024

Edwards and Curran warm up with Maynard Academy in Spain


By Charles Randall

11 March 2014

George Edwards, the fast-rising Spencer CC fast bowler, has been preparing for what should be an important season at Surrey with a 10-day trip to Spain as a member of the newly created Tom Maynard Academy.

Edwards, 22, and his Surrey colleague Tom Curran, son of the late Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin Curran, joined young players from various counties under the auspices of the Tom Maynard Trust. After warm-weather training at Desert Springs the team finished with a match against a Spain XI at La Manga before returning to England.

The academy is one of four main areas covered by the Tom Maynard Trust, a fund set up in 2013 in memory of Tom's sudden death. The cricket is run by his father Matthew, the former England batsman, alongside the former Australia all-rounder Ian Harvey and the ECB head of elite coach development Gordon Lord. They were assisted in Spain by Paul Nixon and Jamie Dalrymple. The idea is to provide financial support and education for aspiring young sportsmen and women.

La Manga hosted the 40-over match against Spain on an all-weather strip. Jon Webb, from the Birmingham club Dorridge, top-scored with 57 in the academy total of 227-9. The Spanish managed a creditable reply, surviving some testing opening overs from Edwards and Andy Carter before reaching 177 all out from 36.3 overs. Curran settled the issue with 3-34 off eight overs and Matthew McKiernan added 2-19 to his innings of 34.

Andy House, the event organiser from Sport Europe, said: “Credit has to be given to the Spanish side. To get within 50 runs of such strong opponents shows the significant progress Spanish cricket has made. We received some excellent feedback from the academy. They were grateful to face opposition of such a high standard to ensure that a good work out was had at the end of a week of intense training in Almeria.”

The academy was the latest team to take advantage of the first-class facilities that make La Manga Club perhaps the premier sports and leisure destination in Europe. County and international teams regularly use the venue as a warm-weather training base. The provision of two regulation club turf pitches and four full-length nets has helped to cement the resort’s standing as the ‘home of cricket in Spain’.

La Manga holds a series of popular Cricket España junior cricket academies during school holidays. There are three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a large spa complex on the site, with a five-star hotel and more than 20 restaurants and bars. The complex is only 20 minutes from Murcia airport, and visits from club sides are welcomed.

The Costa Blanca hosts touring clubs from England at Albir, a ground near Benidorm. Recently the 15th visit by Totternhoe CC, from Bedfordshire, ended in a heavy defeat by Sporting Alfas after the Spain international Antonio Gomez-Brown had scored 100 off 102 balls. Sporting Alfas CC was founded in 1995 and has attracted numerous tours from England to the Woodbridge Oval.

Tom Maynard Academy squad:
Tom Barber (Hampshire)
Andrew Carter (Nottinghamshire)
Tom Curran (Surrey), George Edwards (Surrey)
Cameron Herring (wkt, Gloucestershire)
Fynn Hudson-Prentice (Sussex)
Rob Keogh (Northamptonshire)
Matthew McKiernan (Lancashire)
Dewi Penrhyn-Jones (Glamorgan)
Aaron Thomson (Warwickshire)