Middlesex name academy members
Middlesex have announced their latest academy intake with eight new players joining the six who have been retained.
New members are Freddie Fairhead, Robin Collins, Marwan Mohammad, Jamie Odell, Seb Feszczur-Hatchett, James Ilot, George Scott and Martin Andersson. Those retained are Ryan Higgins, Robbie White, Charlie Thurston, Arthur Godsal, Bradley Erasmus and Max Holden.
Higgins made a big impact in age-group and second XI cricket at the end of the 2012 season, including an unbeaten 55 in the trophy semi-final against Lancashire.
Joining him are under-17s White, a wicketkeeper-batsman who performed consistently well for Middlesex, Harrow School and Ealing CC, and Charlie Thurston, whose 165 versus Essex was the highest youth score recorded last season by a Middlesex player. This group is rounded off with under-15s Godsal, Erasmus and Holden, who all continued to impress playing out of their age groups in Middlesex Youth Cricket last season.
The new intake includes off-spinner Fairhead, who is the latest player to come off the Radley College conveyor belt, and follows Andrew Strauss, Ben Hutton, Jamie Dalrymple and Nick Gubbins of recent times into the Middlesex system. Fairhead is joined by fellow spinners Collins, from High Wycombe CC, and Mohammad, who started his club career at Ickenham CC and has been involved with the Middlesex youth squads since he was 10.
Seamers Odell from Berkshire, Feszczur-Hatchett from Finchley CC and Ilott from Potters Bar CC are all hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent academy fast bowler Tom Helm in gaining a professional contract with the club. The new intake is completed with seam bowling all-rounders Scott, who has already played Minor Counties cricket for Hertfordshire first XI, and Andersson, who represented the South/West Region at last year's Bunbury Under-15 Festival, due to his Berkshire upbringing.
Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser said: "I am delighted and encouraged by the fact there are so many talented young cricketers in our system and that they are spread over various age-groups. It is Middlesex's desire to look within our system rather than outside for cricketers in the future and our academy will play a crucial role in helping the club achieve this goal.
"In the past couple of seasons Middlesex has signed several former academy cricketers as professionals and I hope several of those named above follow in the footsteps of Nick Gubbins, Tom Helm, Ravi Patel, Adam Rossington and Gurjit Sandhu."