Selection of fab four for ‘The Hundred’ showcases quality of Northern League, says Leyland skipper David Makinson

Former Lancashire bowler David Makinson has hailed the selection of four former Northern League stars for the inaugural ‘The Hundred’ cricket competition.

Luis Reece, Alex Davies, Richard Gleeson and Liam Livingstone have all earned contracts to appear in the new limited-overs tournament which has been devised by the ECB and will take place for the first time in July next year. Consisting of eight city-based franchise teams, the competition will be based on a league format, with a play-off finale.

Ex-Lancashire and Leyland all-rounder Reece – who has enjoyed a fine season in county cricket this year with Derbyshire – has been signed by London Spirit on a £30,000 contract.

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Lancashire star Liam Livingstone – who started out at Barrow – has joined Birmingham Phoenix for £125,000.

There are deals too for ex-Darwen and current Red Rose ace Alex Davies (£40,000), who plays for Red Rose and Northamptonshire’s Richard Gleeson (£60,000) who developed at Blackpool.

They have been snapped up by Southern Brave and Northern Superchargers respectively.

Makinson – who skippered Leyland to the NL Division One title this summer – believes it is a real feather in the cap for the league. He also believes their selection also makes a mockery of Lancashire’s policy of sending their younger players to other local club-cricket leagues to develop over the past decade.

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“It’s a great advert for the Northern League to have four former players picked,” said Makinson.

“I think for the past 10 to 15 years, the coaches at Lancashire have been pushing young local cricketers to play in other leagues like the Liverpool Combination or the Cheshire Combination. I don’t know why they do it.

“We have lost a lot of good young players, who are from this area but have been encouraged to play in other leagues.

“There is no need for them to play elsewhere and it’s got to stop.

“I think the reason why is down to a lot of the coaches at Lancashire being from Manchester and Liverpool, so there is no real knowledge of our league, but there’s no difference in standard.”