A 20-year-old club cricketer, Finlay Bean, who plays for York Cricket Club has won a rookie contract with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, after his 441 against Nottinghamshire Seconds at Lady Bay.
He has committed his future to the White Rose in a deal that keeps him at Headingley until at least October 2023.
Yorkshire’s Interim Managing Director of Cricket Darren Gough said: “Finlay Bean’s return to the Club is well publicised on the back of his remarkable 441 for the seconds a few weeks ago. He is clearly a very talented batter and another who will be putting his name in the hat for first-team selection in the not-too-distant future.”
In previous years, Yorkshire Academy competed in the Hunters Yorkshire Premier League North but for 2022, players were released to play for their local clubs.
Gough added: “He had shown some great form in club cricket this year which caught our eye, and obviously resulted in inviting him back into the setup to play with us. I guess it’s a good example to everyone that the door is never closed to cricketers out there in the recreational game and hopefully his journey will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.”
Finlay’s mammoth innings of 441 certainly hit the headlines and decimated the highest individual score for Second XI Championship cricket, which was previously held by Marcus Trescothick (322) for Somerset in 1997.
I happened to visit York Cricket Club against Sheriff Hutton Bridge back in 2017 with Finlay on his 1st XI debut at 15.
He was troubled by the pace of Sam Rainbird, who’d arrived from a Big Bash stint with Hobart Hurricanes, but showed promise, having worked his way through Yorkshire’s age-groups.
An innings of 213 for Yorkshire Under 17s against Derbyshire in 2018 perhaps served notice that the lad could bat long – but there’s long and then what he’s achieved over the last few days.
If we return to this season, Bean has hit over a thousand runs and averages 58 for York Cricket Club, with a top score of 110.
That knock of 441 lasted just shy of 12 hours and contained 52 fours and three sixes. Bean was finally dismissed off Harrison, having made room for a tired drive that snuck through his defences.
The very best players talk about cashing in and being greedy to make decent form out in the middle into something that defines them.
Who’s to say what happens next for Bean but the application, stamina and concentration to construct an innings like that are attributes very few have. He now has the security of a county contract to try to kick on further.
We like comebacks in cricket, don’t we?
Jonny Tattersall springs most readily to mind as someone who went from peripheral to indispensable through his effort with the gloves.
I was at Baildon Cricket Club, pre-Covid, one bitterly cold afternoon and out walked Barney Gibson to bat. The youngest first-class cricketer at 15 had walked away from county cricket with Yorkshire, after falling out of love with the game.
In Barney’s case, he was back for Pudsey Congs in the Bradford League with cricket for enjoyment’s sake. It’s not all about representing your county.
It’s rare to see a cricketer return to the fold after leaving the pathways system that counties have in place. For Bean, he’s clearly got the talent and we all look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store.
Echoing Darren Gough’s sentiments, Yorkshire second-team coach Tom Smith said: Yes, we want to produce Yorkshire cricketers through our Academy and pathways, but it is vital for everyone to know that, no matter what your situation is, the door is never closed.’
Photo of Finn batting for York courtesy of Ian Parker, Ice Photography York.
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