Three young Somerset cricketers will be leaving the cold weather of England far behind them when they fly out with the England Under 19 squad for their five week tour of India on Monday.
Tom Banton and Louie Shaw are both currently on the Somerset Academy while George Bartlett graduated last summer and is now on a one year full time contact with the Club.
Tom, who is an 18 year old wicket-keeper batsman said: “I’m really excited about the trip and have been busy making sure that all my school work is up to date before we go! I came in and had a session with Matt Maynard on Wednesday to make sure that I am in as good nick as possible before we go. I’m mainly looking forward to the white ball games where I think I am stronger. I’m also hoping to learn a lot about how the Indians play spin as well as developing a strong defence in red ball cricket.”
Batsman George Bartlett, who is also 18, was involved with the England Under 19s previously and last season scored a century against Sri Lanka. “It’s really good to have been chosen and I’m obviously really excited about it,” he said. “India is a great place to go and hopefully being out there will help me to develop as a cricketer, so I cant think of anything better to be doing. I don’t think that the wickets out there will be too different from the way they were at the end of the season back here at Somerset. It’ll spin quite a lot but they will be good batting wickets in general.”
George added: “I get back for a few days and then I go off to Spain with the rest of the Somerset squad so I have got a busy time ahead of me.”
Louie Shaw, who is a 17 year old left arm spinner, said: “It all came out of the blue to me and I wasn’t expecting it at all, so I am really chuffed. I only came onto the Academy last autumn and now I’m off to India which is all a bit crazy really. It’s a real step up but I am really looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough bowling out there because the Indian’s are brought up playing against spin. It’s going to be a challenge but I can’t wait to get out there.”