Three young Somerset cricketers, Tom Banton, George Bartlett and Louie Shaw have been named in the England Under 19 squad for their tour to India early in 2017.
Batsman George Bartlett, who is 18 years old, was formerly at Millfield School and signed a one year contract at the end of the summer after graduating from the Academy. He has been involved with the England Under 19′s previously, and last season scored a century against Sri Lanka.
Wicket-keeper/batsman Tom Banton attends King’s College in Taunton and is also 18. He joined the Somerset Academy in 2016 and enjoyed considerable success with the Second XI in the summer including playing in both the T20 and Trophy finals.
Left arm spinner Louie Shaw is 17 years old and attends Clifton College. He is also on the Academy and has enjoyed success playing through the Somerset age groups and last summer made his debut for Somerset Second XI.
Steve Snell, the Director of the Somerset Academy and Second XI Coach, is delighted for the young Somerset players. “I’m really pleased for them all,” he said. “Louie had a fantastic summer with the Under 17′s where he performed superbly. As a result of which we gave him some opportunities in the Second XI. What struck me most was how well he coped with the step up to play at that level of cricket with both ball and bat and he is also a superb athlete. We are all really delighted that he has got some recognition. Now he has got the opportunity to go and show what he can do out in India, which is a great place to go and play international cricket.
“It’s also a great testament to all of the hard work and effort that everyone involved at the Academy such as Greg Kennis, Paul Tweddle plus the likes of Daz Veness have put in over the years, so it’s a real reward for what is being done at the Club.”
Steve went on: “It’s brilliant for Tom Banton who joined the Academy in the summer to be selected. He has performed superbly in the age groups as well as in the Seconds and he has earned his place by right on the trip. Likewise George, who’s been involved with the Under 19′s a few times. He’s a bit of an old hand on these trips now. I’m sure he’ll be hoping to put in some match winning performances and stake his claim for a place in the Somerset First XI this summer and he has got a real chance.”
Both George and Tom played in the Young Lions final match of the recent tour, a three-day game against UAE which they won by nine wickets.
In their first innings UAE were bowled out for 84, in reply to which Young Lions made 300 for five declared of which Tom made an unbeaten 44, while George didn’t bat. In their second innings UAE were bowled out for 220 with Tom claiming three catches behind the stumps.
David Graveney OBE, the Under-19′s Chairman of Selectors said: “Touring India at any level is challenging, as the senior England team would confirm. But that is why it is so valuable to be able to expose our best young players to these challenges at Under-19 level. We expect the India team to be very strong, as they showed in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year and again in the Asia Cup, under the supervision of Rahul Dravid. So this is a huge opportunity for the 15 players who have been selected, especially with a return series against India at home next summer.
“Six players have been ruled out by injury including Somerset’s Ben Green which is a disappointment but it does provide opportunities for other players who have been on our radar for a while, and have impressed at Under-17 level in the regional Super-4 competition which is part of the Young Lions programme.
“The Young Lions camp provided the majority of the squad with excellent preparation for the trip, with a number of ECB elite coaches supplementing the coaching staff who have been working with them throughout the winter. Paul Collingwood and Neil Killeen will now return to Durham, with England batting coach Mark Ramprakash and Jon Lewis from Sussex joining ECB lead spin-bowling coach Peter Such in Andy Hurry’s coaching team in India.”
England Under-19s to tour India, Jan 23 – Feb 25: M Fisher (Yorkshire, captain for one-day series), M Holden (Middlesex, captain for four-day matches), H Brook (Yorkshire)*, G Bartlett (Somerset), E Woods (Surrey)*, W Jacks (Surrey)*, D Rawlins (Sussex)*, O Pope (Surrey, wk), T Banton (Somerset, wk)*, L Patterson-White (Nottinghamshire)*, L Shaw (Somerset)*, A Beard (Essex), J Blatherwick (Nottinghamshire)*, H Brookes (Warwickshire)*, J Bruce (Middlesex)*. * – uncapped.
Fixtures: One-day series v India Under-19s (Mumbai) – Jan 30 (Wankhede Stadium), Feb 1 (CCI), 3 (CCI), 6 (Wankhede Stadium), 8 (Wankhede Stadium); Four-day matches v India Under-19s (Chennai) – Feb 13-16, 21-24 (both MA Chidambaram Stadium).