Innovative video-trial system helps unearth fresh cricket talent

Warwickshire are the first professional County Cricket Club to use video trials

Warwickshire County Cricket Club (WCCC) has revolutionised its selection process by accepting video submissions from aspiring young cricketers as it builds on co-funded research with Birmingham City University (BCU) into talent identification. 

Last September the club embarked on its new video-based process encouraging youngsters to submit batting and bowling clips for assessment by the Warwickshire coaching staff, becoming the first professional cricket club to introduce the system.

The move is a continuation of work by post-doctorate researcher Dr Tom Brown’s PhD project, which looks to identify how bias and lack of objectivity can impact selection decisions and talent identification. Previously, only local clubs, schools and cricket organisations could nominate players the advent of video submissions now opens up the selection processes further, enabling greater access for applicants of all backgrounds.

In total WCCC received 236 video submissions from prospects wanting to join the boys U13-U18s set-up of which 141 were from youngsters the club had not heard from before or hadn’t tried out for at least three years. 

In total 60 were selected to join five coaching sessions between October and December 2022, with 10 making it onto the club’s county pathway structure. A further 30 boys have been offered places in Warwickshire’s development centre squads.

Warwickshire is looking to expand on its new video-trial process to include boys in younger age groups as well as introduce the programme on the girl’s pathway system.   

Dr Tom Brown’s research was also the catalyst behind The South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA), a scheme designed to support more young British Asian cricketers into the professional game after he identified wealth barriers were leading to overrepresentation of cricketers from affluent backgrounds in the county game.

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