— February 2, 2023

Yash Vagadia recently described a 10-day batting camp in Mumbai as a “fantastic” experience for himself and five Yorkshire colleagues.

On Tuesday, Vagadia, Fin Bean, Harry Duke, George Hill, Will Luxton and James Wharton returned from a training trip to India led by assistant coach Ali Maiden and funded in part by the Yorkshire Supporters’ Association.

While the focus has been on outdoor training – something emulated by a small group of seafarers in Dubai earlier last month – the group also took part in a 45-over match supplemented by local players.

“That was a really good standard,” stated Vagadia, the 18-year-old top-flight hitter who signed his first rookie contract with the county in November.

“The purpose was that we did it on the last day of the trip to make sure we could put into practice what we had been working on over the previous nine days.

“We wanted to go out and put that work into a match scenario.

“It was one of those games where you could come back in later if you came out.

“Funnily enough, I ended up getting in when we needed about 60 and had run out. Nightmare. But I threw 10 overs of my off spin and took two for odd 40. That was useful because there were some very good spin players.”

Vagadia, a current Durham University student, continued: “It was fantastic, a really good trip. I personally did everything I wanted to work on. It was really intense, but it was definitely worth it.

“My main goal was to work on my sweeps, reverse sweeps and playing against spin. I’ve been doing a lot of this, working on my forward press and playing off the back foot. I feel pretty confident now.

“India is a fantastic travel destination. Everyone is just obsessed with cricket. There were two or three adjoining properties and all had crowds watching.”

Vagadia’s rookie deal was announced late last year on the same day that David Wiese landed an overseas deal for this summer’s Vitality Blast.

They are two cricketers at each end of their professional careers, with Vagadia’s journey just beginning after impressive form in academy, second-team and Premier League cricket for hometown club Hartlepool.

“Getting a rookie contract was my goal last season,” the right-hander continued. “I’ve been working toward that. It’s good to have this, but there are still miles to go. For me, this is just the beginning.”

Vagadia played six games as the second team won the league title last season. He contributed 362 runs and four half-centuries with a best-of-87. One of his fifties came in September’s title-winning tie against Kent at Folkstone.

“It was a really good summer,” he recalls.

“The U18 competition, which the Academy participates in, didn’t start the way I would have liked. There were a few unfortunate dismissals, I played some bad shots. Then towards the end of the season I started scoring a lot of runs in the second team, the U18s and Hartlepool.”

That included a brilliant 179 not topped by Hartlepool in a big North Yorkshire South Durham League win over Billingham Synthonia.

“That was my favorite game of the season now that I think back on it,” he smiled. “I loved that.”

Vagadia had a taste of first-team cricket before, playing in a friendly against Durham at Headingley ahead of 2021. He scored 49 goals as he opened batting against an attack including Chris Rushworth, rapid England Test Matty Potts and Brydon Carse.

“I would say I’m an aggressive slugger. In that game I scored a good 40 goals against the red ball with a strike rate of 70 or 80,” he reflected.

“You’ll probably see an aggressive style from me, especially against spin.

“That may have to change as I level up against top tier bowling, but right now I want to compete with a high strike rate.”

“And I will hit wherever the coaches want me to. I really don’t have a preference for any format. As long as I’m playing, it doesn’t bother me. Traditionally I was an opener, but I hit everywhere.”

And on the summer goals, he added: “The perfect 2023 would include a debut in the first team. That, I would say, would most likely come in the One-Day Cup.

“If it were absolutely perfect, I would also say a first-class debut. But that could be tough. I think it’s more realistic that I play in the 50-over competition.

“I would also like to develop my bowling so that I am perceived more as an all-rounder. That would be awesome.”

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