Young Lions head coach Jon Lewis will challenge several youngsters who have played for England Under-19s this summer to produce dominant performances in the ECB Super-4s for the country’s brightest Under-17 talent in Loughborough next week.
Lewis called up a number of 17-year-olds during the two Youth Tests and the three-match Royal London One-Day Series against South Africa in July, and hopes they will reap an early dividend from that experience when they return to their age group – with this year’s Super-4s carrying an extra significance as it will be Lewis’s first chance to study all the leading contenders for places in the next ICC Under-19s World Cup.
Last year’s Super-4s provided the launchpad for players such as Fin Trenouth, Prem Sisodiya, Adam Finch and the Middlesex trio of Savin Perera, Jack Davies and Luke Hollman to clinch places in the England squad for the last World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
Now for the likes of Gloucestershire opener Ben Charlesworth, Worcestershire batsman Jack Haynes and Derbyshire spinner Hamidullah Qadri, all of whom have been involved with the Under-19s over the last year, there is an ideal platform to show their ability in 50-over and T20 cricket – as all will be eligible, with Hollman, for the 2020 World Cup in South Africa.
Mo Bobat, ECB Player Identification Lead
“As Jon Lewis has said, the Super-4s will be an important first chance for him to watch the players in this age group at this level of competition,” said Mo Bobat, the ECB’s Player Identification Lead.
“It’s the only chance we have to see the best playing against the best – similar to the Bunbury Festival for Under-15s.
“For that reason, it plays quite an important part in enabling us to observe players which will inform selection for the Young Lions programmes this winter and beyond.
“We’ve had a few of the Under-17s involved with the Under-19s this summer, and that adds an extra dimension when they play in this competition – they’re expected to dominate, which adds a bit of extra pressure.”
Haynes and Qadri both featured as the Midlands won both the 50-over and T20 competitions last year.
Mal Loye, the former England batsman who is now on the development staff at Derbyshire and was part of Lewis’s Under-19s coaching staff this summer, will again be involved with the Midlands team.
“That’s another big plus of the Super-4s,” added Bobat. “We are able to invite coaches from the County Talent Pathway to take charge of the teams, and that makes for a really interesting mix of fresh ideas and personalities.”
This year Richard Halsall, the former England fielding coach who was appointed this year as Academy Director of Sussex, will take charge of the London and East team.
London and East
Head Coach: Richard Halsall
Head Coach: Mal Loye
Head Coach: Richard Damms
Head Coach: Rich Almond / Steve Snell