Alex, in more conciliatory tone, I hope:
The requirement for three junior players strikes me as neither a big major incentive for general take-up at junior level nor as a practical means of encouragement to counties to do more. Despite the senexophobic language (
) that has appeared in this thread on occasion it strikes me as quite unfair to characterise the county selectors as old men with no interest in diversification - they would love to have more players and they would love them to be younger (and female though this post concerns itself with juniors). The added burden of these proposals will not, however, excite their endeavours to do more - the captains have enough on their plate to get a team together, to get it to the right place and to deal with the regular catastrophes in the week prior to a match and, of course, on the day - the M6 log jam, the critical illness, the player who read the time wrong (all of which I have scenarios I have witnessed as I'm sure many others have). The captains have neither the time nor probaby the skill to start coaching youngsters - so the counties must find someone else for this very time consuming task. I doubt that there is a county in the land that finding such an individual would not embrace their endeavours, but the ECF contribution would be more productive and supportive if it threw its weight behind those individuals (including a well-known former county championship controller) attempting the task rather than by making harder an already hard task for the county captains.
In Lancashire we are better endowed than Yorkshire and have a variety of up and coming juniors. They do get into county teams - but at the level of their ability and as full-members who have earned their place amongst their peers - the rickety old men. That is the level they know is right for them and it gives them the immediate and achievable objective of progressing forward one step. Indeed, I joked to one such player (aged 11, graded 135) that next congress she she should be playing in the major section. This was greeted with a hollow laugh: she has ambition but also the sense to progress surely and steadily. Such maturity we should encourage - not exploit their youth to put them in teams outside their reach in the vain pursuit of a worthy, but flawed, objective. Think again, Alex.