In 1999 I was invited by Hugh Morris of the England and Wales Cricket Board to develop a wrist spin programme in England. The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT) immediately became partners with the ECB and have remained as a major supporter ever since.
The programme continues this year for the 10th year, something "Johnners" , a lover of wrist spin, would have been be proud . Wrist spin was never that popular with English County teams but they have embraced the concept by supporting the boys who have been BJMT Scholars over the years.
Yorkshire has given First Class experience to Adil Rashid and Mark Lawson. Michael Munday has represented Oxford University and Somerset and the most recent debutante has been Matthew Gitsham for Gloucestershire. Each of these leg spinners has been to Adelaide on more than one occasion as part of the ECB/BJMT wrist spin programme.
The Matthew Gitsham story is one which will occupy a Blog space later.
In July this year we will conduct trials at Loughborough University to decide the next two boys to attend the Elite Spin Programme in Adelaide during October.
Along with the spinners four coaches will attend the programme to continue the development of both spinner and coach.