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Foakes calm over hype

Ben Foakes looks forward to touring Australia with the England Performance Programme and his career beyond that trip

Ben Foakes is doing his best to block out the noise surrounding his potential as he aims to further his progression with England's Performance Programme.

Long touted as a future international, the 20-year-old has established himself in Essex’s first team.

And with a good end to the domestic season behind him, many have tipped Foakes to join Essex team-mate Alastair Cook in England’s senior side over the coming years.

The belief in the youngster was perhaps best illustrated last winter when he was chosen in the England Lions squad despite having played a handful of first-class games.

However, Foakes is refusing to rest on his laurels and knows all too well that many more good performances will be required for him to reach the next level.

“I had a very good second half of the season,” enthused Foakes to ecb.co.uk. “You have got to understand people are watching you but forget about that because, at the end of the day, you cannot control what people think about you.

“I know that my cricket is the only thing that I can take care of and I’ve just got to do that as well as I can. If that goes well, hopefully everything else will come with it.

“I guess with playing for the Lions after so few games a few people didn’t know anything about me, which I guess brings expectations.”

Foakes, who toured Australia with England Lions early this year, will take the next steps in his development with an EPP party that will shadow England’s Test squad Down Under.

“It’s very exciting to be going out there,” he said. “Cricket is tough out there; there is good competition and it will be a very good experience.”

Foakes’ chances of eventually playing for England will be aided by his ability to keep wicket.

Yet his efforts to prove himself with the gloves will be difficult in the domestic game given he sits behind the outstanding James Foster.

“It is obviously very hard because I think Foz is the best keeper in the world still,” he said. “I have not seen anybody better.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation that I have somebody like that in front of me. Keeping is a big thing for me and I have to be keeping in some way if I want to progress. I want to just keep making sure my keeping ticks over.”

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