Silksworth CC 1st XI kick off their season against Peterlee 1sts on Saturday. 

Local cricket has struggled over the past few years for several reasons, one of which being the lack of junior cricketers in the ranks of clubs around the North East.

Many of the clubs within the North East Durham Cricket League struggle to field junior sides or may have none at all.

Silksworth cricket club and its members have made it a priority for their club to get more junior cricketers through the door to secure the future of the club. Currently, more than 50 per cent of their senior players have come through the junior setup and they are motivated to continue to bring through local talent.

Stuart Middlemiss, a player who came through the club’s junior ranks, said: “Junior cricket and getting more juniors through the gates is the priority of the club at the moment.

“Malcolm Nicol, who has been at the club for many years, is putting huge amounts of work in behind the scenes to get the junior set up back to the standard we want. We have a good base of regular juniors training with us and hope to start turning out competitive sides soon.”

Silksworth have training for juniors on a Sunday morning at midday at Sandhill View School, where youngsters of any age can go along and join in.

Middlemiss spoke of how clubs across the North East have struggled to maintain a junior team. “Getting the juniors set up is vital for sustaining the club as most players we have today came through the Silksworth junior set up,” he said.

Currently, each of the club’s three senior teams have at least two players involved each week who are below the age of 22, emphasising the reliance clubs have on juniors coming through.