Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is set to arrive on Cayman’s shores for a pre-season development tour in February. The club is home to several English international cricket players and one of 18 first class county clubs in England and Wales. “Cayman Cricket is very excited about this development. This is a major breakthrough for us and was the result of persistent efforts by us over several months,” said President of Cayman Cricket, Hector Robinson.

The tour is part of a strategic partnership that recently reached completion after both Northamptonshire CCC and Cayman Cricket, according to a Cayman Cricket press release. The touring party will contain members of the Northamptonshire County Cricket Academy, along with senior players of the professional squad. Specialists from Northamptonshire Academy will also conduct coaching and development courses for 12 local coaches, players and other participants.

They’ll also participate in charity and community outreach events. Cayman’s national senior men’s team will be in training with and against the Northamptonshire touring squad as Cayman prepares for the upcoming ICC Americas competition. The tour will also provide playing opportunities for Cayman academy advanced junior players, according to Cayman Cricket. The strategic partnership agreement between Northamptonshire and Cayman Cricket covers an initial period of two years.It calls for assistance to Cayman Cricket in several avenues, including the sharing and development of coaching strategies, assistance in developing a player pathway strategy, player and coach exchanges and the conducting of official courses and mentoring for Cayman’s players and officials. Another area where Northhamptonshire expects to be of assistance – Cayman’s search for a new cricket technical director. Cayman Cricket has been in search for a technical director since the September departure of Peter Anderson. Anderson has said he was terminated. Cayman Cricket said at the time it was a mutual agreement. Since the post became vacant, more than 80 people applied, Robinson. Only four are currently shortlisted and Northamptonshire CCC will help choose the person to fill that vacancy in late winter.

“The club are delighted to have created this partnership with Cayman Cricket. They match our ambition for developing cricket and it’s an ideal destination for our academy tour. We are very much looking forward to working with them for mutually beneficial purposes over the coming years. We have recently launched a global strategy, and this is the beginning of some extremely exciting times for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club,” said Steven Crook, Northamptonshire CCC’s Head of Sponsorship and Commercial Partnerships.

The arrival of Northamptonshire CCC provided an opportunity to promote Cayman Cricket’s premier cricket facility, the Jimmy Powell Oval in West Bay. Over the past 12 months, the Department of Sports and Public Works have made enhancements to the facility within the $78,000 budget granted to Cayman Cricket. Developing the batting strip and outfield, sprucing up the pavilion building and purchasing heavy equipment, all to specifically to accommodate international tours such as the upcoming Northamptonshire tour.

“We have long hoped to establish Cayman as a destination of choice for international cricket teams to train and play. Besides providing valuable opportunities for the development of our own players and coaches, tours such as these have the potential for opening up completely new avenues for sports tourism and previously untapped tourism markets,” said Mr. Robinson. According to Cayman Cricket President Hector Robinson, full details of the tour itinerary, including matches and social events, will be announced over the coming weeks.

Captain: Adam Rossington

Coach:    David Ripley

Founded: 1878

Home Ground: County Ground, Northampton

Capacity: 6,500

First-class debut: Hampshire in 1905

Twenty20 Cup wins: 2

FP/Trophy/NatWest Trophy wins: 2

B&H Cup wins: 1