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Smith's a rising star

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Tom Smith

Tom Smith

Lancashire captain Mark Chilton believes England could have a future star on their hands in all-rounder Tom Smith.

Smith, 20, has caught the eye this season during Lancashire's strong challenge in the Liverpool Victoria County Championship.

He was rewarded this week when he was named in the National Academy squad for the winter, a group that will essentially act as back-up to the England team in Australia for the Ashes.

Smith has had a fine season, particularly with the ball, taking 31 wickets as Lancashire have mounted a powerful bid for a first outright title since 1934.

Mark Chilton

Mark Chilton

"It is really well-deserved," said Chilton. "I think he is a genuine prospect.

"I think he has ability in all areas - everyone at Lancashire has seen that with the ball and in the field, and he has a lot of potential with the bat as well.

"I definitely think it is great he is going and England have got their eye on him, because he will continue to develop."