Ten under twenty 2018

With another season of the County Championship set to begin on Friday, CaughtOutCricket profiles ten future prospects under the age of twenty to follow the teens of 2016 and 2017  

 

Harry Brook IDI and Getty.jpg
Yorkshire’s Harry Brook captained England in the recent U19 World Cup. (Photo Credit: IDI and Getty Images).

 

Harry Brook (Age 19) – Yorkshire

Nineteen-year-old Harry Brook is yet another young batsman to fall off the highly regarded Yorkshire production line. A breakout 2017 has led to many suggesting the talented right-hander has all the tools to take his game to the next level.

Despite his tender age he’s already gained a wealth of experience in his nascent career. Be it breaking the Yorkshire Schools record for the most runs in a season while at Ilkey Grammar School in 2013, making his county bow last summer or recently captaining his country in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand – there’s a lot to admire about this youngster.

Brought up playing cricket at his local Burley-In-Whalfedale club alongside his father and uncle, Brook was soon breaking records and turning heads on his way to representing the various Yorkshire underage sides.

After registering a golden duck on first-class debut against the visiting Pakistani’s in 2016, a run of impressive second XI scores (127, 47no, 112 and 161) led to a much-anticipated Championship debut against Middlesex at Lords last summer. Batting at number three he showed great composure in making a first-innings 38 as wicket tumbled around him.

Although he managed only modest returns thereafter – He finished the season out of the side after just 82 runs at 13.66 spread across six innings – his unflustered approach at the crease drew many admirers in the Yorkshire set-up.

He carried on his progression by leading England at the U19 World Cup and topping the team batting averages with 239 runs at 119.50 including two fifties and one hundred. However, despite a fine personal tournament where he was dismissed just twice in five innings, he ended on a sour note when he was dropped for the final match after breaking a team rule.

What 2018 holds in store?

Despite a disappointing end to his U19 World Cup campaign, Brook has begun his 2018 season with Yorkshire in superb fashion. He kickstarted the club’s pre-season tour of South Africa off with a bang, making a magnificent 154 against a Nottinghamshire attack including Mark Footitt and Harry Gurney.

Having said that, he still faces stiff competition to regain his place in the side once the season commences in mid-April. With Indian rock Cheteshwar Pujara arriving for the beginning of the season to supplement the experienced guard of Adam Lyth, Alex Lees and Gary Ballance, it appears that Brook will be fighting it out with Jack Leaning and Tom Kohler-Cadmore for a batting spot.

Brook’s predicament becomes even more complicated when England stars Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow return for Yorkshire’s third Championship match.

It remains likely that he’ll again have to remain patient for his opportunity whilst continuing to score heavily for the Second XI and the Yorkshire Academy.

Matthew Potts (19) – Durham

Matty Potts’ emergence as a talented seam-bowling allrounder has coincided with another traumatic offseason in the northeast.

The Sunderland-born teen shone brightly in a handful of first team opportunities in 2017 and looks set to inherit more responsibility this summer after the club lost senior players Graham Onions, Paul Coughlin and Keaton Jennings to First Division counties and promising batsman Jack Burnham to a one-year drugs ban.

Nineteen-year-old Potts made his first-class debut against Kent last June where despite collecting only one wicket he was entrusted to bowl the final over with just one Kent wicket required. Although he failed to claim the final scalp he had impressed captain Paul Collingwood enough to earn further opportunities.

The wickets began to flow for Potts thereafter as he took ten wickets across matches against Glamorgan and Derbyshire before finishing the season off with a maiden Championship fifty against Derbyshire.

He was rewarded with a three-year professional contract to keep him at the club until after the 2020 season after finishing the year with 14 wickets at 33.21.

What 2018 holds in store?

With club stalwarts Onions and Paul Coughlin heading to pastures new in Lancashire and Nottinghamshire respectively, the door is certainly open for Potts to continue his development in a first team environment.

Veteran Australian Nathan Rimmington has arrived to reinforce the seam bowling options and will join the likes of Potts, James Weighell, Barry McCarthy and Brydon Carse as potential options to supplement first choice pair Chris Rushworth and Mark Wood (should international and IPL commitments allow).

After impressing in limited overs cricket with the England U19’s last summer Potts will also be looking to break into the Durham one-day and T20 sides this year with the Royal London Cup beginning in late May.

Hamidullah Qadri (17) – Derbyshire

Nicknamed “The Magician” offspinner Hamidullah Qadri burst onto the county scene last summer continuing a remarkable personal story that has seen him flee war-torn Afghanistan at the age of ten to become the youngest ever county player to represent Derbyshire at just sixteen.

His story added a significant chapter last June when, just two weeks after completing his GCSE exams, he put in a man-of-the-match performance on first-class debut to bowl Derbyshire to their first Championship victory in nearly two years.

After displaying impressive control in conceding just 16 runs from 15 first-innings overs he turned matchwinner in the second dig. Opening the bowling he returned figures of 26.3-8-60-5 as he tore through the Glamorgan lower order on a turning Cardiff wicket.

More success in Championship matches against Durham and Sussex further enhanced his growing potential as he finished his maiden season with 10 wickets at 28.80.

County cricket’s first millennium child had made an immediate impact and it wasn’t long before he was representing his adopted nation at U19 level. Although he was overlooked for the 2018 U19 World Cup he intends to commit his international future to England.

What 2018 holds in store?

After learning from Derbyshire’s experienced overseas spinners Jeevan Mendis and Imran Tahir last summer, Qadri looked set to continue his education under Mitchell Santner this summer.

Santner was due to arrive later in the summer to replace South African quick Duane Oliver however a severe knee injury to the Kiwi spinner has subsequently put pay to that deal.

While the club have recently confirmed they are seeking a replacement for Santner, they’re currently left with only two specialist tweakers in Qadri and legspinner Matt Critchley alongside the part time offerings of Wayne Madsen.

While it’s likely that Billy Godleman’s side will see the all-round skills of Critchley and Madsen as adequate spin options in early season conditions, Qadri’s time will come later in the summer when the pitches begin to take more turn.

In the meantime, the youngster will be left splitting his time between the Second XI Championship and Derbyshire Premier Cricket League side Alvaston and Boulton CC.

 

Amar Virdi Getty.jpg
Amar Virdi in action for Surrey in 2017. (Photo Credit: Getty Images).

 

Amar Virdi (19) – Surrey

An offspinner of Indian-heritage, Amar Virdi broke into the Surrey four-day side last summer acting as a second spinner alongside Gareth Batty after the shock early-season retirement of former England allrounder Zafar Ansari.

Virdi impressed on his first-class debut against eventual Championship winners Essex when he bowled former England wicketkeeper James Foster as his maiden victim on his way to collecting first-innings returns of 3-82.

With Surrey regularly opting for a solitary spinner, Virdi had to wait before receiving further opportunities later in the summer with appearances against Hampshire and Middlesex sandwiched between two youth Tests against the Indian U19 side.

While he didn’t pick up a hatful of wickets in his three Championship performances (six wickets at 45.16) he caught the eye of the England selectors and was rewarded with a place on the England Lions winter tour of Australia.

He performed admirably in his one appearance Down Under. Bowling in tandem with fellow England spin aspirant Jack Leach he took 4-70 from 18 overs against a strong Queensland XI side.

What 2018 holds in store?

Despite being in his fortieth year and recently relinquishing the captaincy, veteran Batty has showed no signs of winding down just yet so its again likely that Virdi will be contrived to settle for a second spinners role with perhaps more first XI opportunities coming later in the summer.

Alongside left-armer Freddie van den Bergh, Virdi will offer quality backup for Batty whilst also continuing to learn his trade under the sound stewardship of Alec Stewart and Michael Di Vanuto.

He will also hope to gain further overs under his belt in the Second XI Championship and with Sunbury CC in the Surrey Premier Division.

 

Will Jacks (19) – Surrey

Another member of the recent Surrey youth-movement alongside Virdi, Ollie Pope, Sam Curran and Ryan Patel, aggressive allrounder Will Jacks hopes to become next in line to wow the crowds in South London.

A hard-hitting batsman, who holds Kevin Pietersen as his idol, Jacks has appeared in several first team squads without yet making his Surrey debut. However, the 2017 Academy player of the year is highly regarded by the club’s hierarchy and was rewarded with a two-year professional contract in October.

Despite not yet making his county first XI, Jacks has built up an impressive resume with the England U19 side. His 102 against India in a Youth Test last summer was a particularly assertive innings that included nine fours and six sixes.

He has also captained the side and acted as vice-captain to Harry Brook in the recently concluded U19 World Cup.

A more than handy offspinner, especially in the shorter formats, he topped the England bowling averages at the U19 World Cup with 7 wickets at 21.57 to go with his 194 runs at 38.60 which included a century against Canada.

What 2018 holds in store?

Although Jacks is yet to make his first XI bow, there’s hope that he’ll be involved with the Surrey one-day teams this summer.

His powerful batting and offspin bowling have him earmarked as a limited-overs specialist and he’s already been involved with the club’s T20 side in pre-season – making 5 against Lancashire in Dubai.

With injury ruling out overseas signing Mitchell Marsh and Jason Roy competing in the IPL, there could well be a Championship opportunity for Jacks at the season edges closer with Surrey yet to replace either man. With a top three of Rory Burns, Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick likely set in stone, Jacks is likely to be competing with Ryan Patel, Ollie Pope, Rikki Clarke for a spot in the middle order.

With Roy due to return after the IPL commences and Virat Kohli rumoured to be signing to play for the club in June, Jacks is likely to return to play in the various second XI competitions as well as representing club side Guildford CC.

 

Liam Banks (18) – Warwickshire

In what was a desperate overall season for Warwickshire, 18-year-old opener Liam Banks offered a sign of brighter times ahead.

With relegation inevitable towards the latter part of the season, Banks was one of two 18-year-olds (fast bowler Henry Brookes was the other) given a taste of first team action ahead of life in Division Two.

Banks made his first-class debut against Yorkshire at Headingley in September making 13 and 29 before rounding out the season with scores of 1 and 14 against Hampshire at Edgbaston.

Although he managed only four low scores, the Newcastle-under-Lyme-born man is held in high regard in Birmingham having joined the club’s Academy from Staffordshire at the age of 13. He was recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension after a series of impressive performances in the Second XI Championship.

A regular for Staffordshire in the Minor Counties League, Banks also excelled for the England U19 side in the recent World Cup. Splitting time between opening and batting in the middle order he made 207 runs at 51.75 including 120 against Canada and 74 against Bangladesh.

What 2018 holds in store?

After years of overreliance on the veteran batting presence of Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Rikki Clarke and Tim Ambrose, Warwickshire have finally injected some youthful exuberance into their batting with Dominic Sibley (22), Sam Hain (22), Matthew Lamb (21), Andrew Umeed (21) and Ed Pollock (22) joining Banks in the ranks.

Despite finishing last summer in possession of the openers position, it’s expected that Banks will be battling it out with Scotsman Umeed and former Yorkshire allrounder Will Rhodes for the chance to open with the established Sibley.

Rhodes started the recent MCCU match against Durham University and therefore looks likely to begin the Championship season ahead of Banks.

For now, Banks will return to Second XI duty whilst also representing West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Birmingham & District Premier League.

 

Hamidullah Qadir getty
Spinner Hamidullah Qadri enjoyed immediate success for Derbyshire last summer. (Photo Credit: Getty Images).

 

Pat Brown (19) – Worcestershire

Nineteen-year-old Pat Brown followed fellow young quick Josh Tongue (20) into the Worcestershire first team during a successful 2017 for the county.

The Peterborough-born Brown, a right-arm fast bowler with huge potential, was recruited by Worcestershire in 2015 after being spotted at a Pace Factor open day at Wellington School whilst he was then representing Lincolnshire Premier League side Market Deeping.

A regular for the club’s Second XI, he made his first team debut in a T20 match against Nottinghamshire in July before playing a further five NatWest Blast matches with limited success.

He proved much more adept with red ball in hand, making his Championship debut against Sussex in August he claimed Joffra Archer as his maiden first-class victim as he ended the campaign with six wickets at 33.16 across four matches.

What 2018 holds in store?

With the Pears sealing promotion after two years in the Second Division, the whole playing staff face tougher times ahead.

However, the New Road-based side have an abundance of up-and-coming fast bowlers to compliment the club’s veteran performers.

The 2017 ever-present pace trio of Tongue, Joe Leach and Ed Barnard are certain to begin the season in possession of a starting role after sharing 163 Championship wickets between them last summer.

Elsewhere, fans favourite Jack Shantry and experienced newcomer Steve Magoffin will be in the mix to supplement the first-choice trio, leaving Brown to battle it out with fellow young quicks George Scrimshaw, Dillon Pennington and Adam Finch for a backup role.

Although Brown could initially struggle to cement a first XI spot, it remains a long season with three competitions to compete for so he’s likely to see some action down the line.

Tom Banton (19) – Somerset

An attacking top-order batsman and occasional wicketkeeper, Tom Banton is looking to follow in the footsteps of Tom Abell and George Bartlett in graduating from the Somerset academy into becoming a first-choice batsman.

The 19-year-old started out in the Warwickshire academy before moving south to Taunton in 2015 and recently signing a two-year professional contract to remain at the club until the end of the 2019 season.

He made Somerset debut last summer playing back-to-back T20 matches against Middlesex where he caught the eye with the sharp legside stumping of England batsman Dawid Malan.

Banton spent the winter in South Africa playing a tri-series with the hosts and Namibia alongside Somerset teammates Fin Trenouth (see below) and Tom Lammonby before they headed to the U19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Opening the batting alongside both Brook and Banks, Banton acuminated 233 runs at 38.83 with a superb 112 against the hosts New Zealand in England’s final match of the tournament.

What 2018 holds in store?

Eddie Byrom, Marcus Trescothick, Abell, Bartlett, James Hildreth started the recent four-day pre-season match with Ireland with the experienced Steven Davies keeping wicket and rounding out the top six.

With the recent arrival of Australian opener Matt Renshaw now confirmed, its likely that Byrom will give way to start the Championship season against Worcestershire on April 20th with Roelof van der Merve, Peter Trego and Lewis Gregory fighting it out for the allrounders role at number seven.

Such depth is likely to leave Banton and fellow youngsters Trenouth and Lammonby on the margins of the Championship side this summer.

However, after the departure of reserve wicketkeeper Ryan Davies over the winter, Banton is set to backup Steven Davies this year with plenty of limited-overs opportunities likely to be heading his way in the Royal London Cup and the Vitality Blast.

Fin Trenough .jpg
Batsman Fin Trenouth is highly regarded in Taunton. (Photo Credit: Somersetcountycc.co.uk).

Finlay Trenouth (19) – Somerset

A hard-hitting batsman with enormous potential, 19-year-old Fin Trenouth has yet to play a senior match for his county but is already been talked up across the Quantock Hills.

The academy product shot to fame in 2016 when he scored an unbeaten 330 for the Somerset U17 side in a U17 Championship match against Hampshire.

A lively character with the ability to hit a clean ball, he’s currently signed to a summer contract at Taunton after graduating from the academy but its surely only a matter of time before the right-hander breaks into the first team setup.

Also capable of keeping wicket, he’s a product of the prestigious Millfield School – which has also produced the likes of James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter and Daniel Bell-Drummond.

Trenouth made his England U19 debut against India last summer and also represented the team at the U19 World Cup in January but struggled to live up to his potential with just 27 runs at 6.75.

What 2018 holds in store?

It’s a big year for the exciting Trenouth. Only currently on a one-year deal with the county, he’ll be keen to impress in the second XI championship to earn a longer stay at the County Ground.

With Somerset deep in their batting heading into the season, Trenouth will be battling it out with fellow youngsters Bartlett, Banton and Lammonby for first XI opportunities.

He will also look to continue his apprenticeship with Devon in the Minor Counties League and club side Bristol CC in the West of England Premier League.

 

Felix Organ (18) – Hampshire

Offspinning-allrounder, Felix Organ broke into the Hampshire first XI last summer after string of impressive performances for the academy side.

Born in Sydney but raised in the south of England where he attended both Twyford and Canford schools, Organ’s 536 academy runs at 39.07 saw him earn his maiden first-class callup against Middlesex at Uxbridge.

Despite the inadequate Uxbridge drainage system, which saw the match dwindle into a bore draw, Organ managed to make 16 from 36 deliveries in his sole innings batting at number five.

Earlier in the summer he had represented the England U19 side in their limited overs series with India where he top-scored with 61 in the fourth match. However, he was overlooked for the U19 World Cup squad after a disappointing winter tri-series in South Africa.

He signed a two-year academy contract towards the end of the year and is very much a part of Hampshire’s longer-term plans going forward.

What 2018 holds in store?

Organ has already begun his 2018 campaign by playing four one-day matches for Hampshire during their pre-season participation in the Super50 Cup in Barbados in February.

After recording two ducks and taking just two wickets across the four matches, it’s safe to say Organ didn’t have the immediate impact he would have desired but he will be better off for the experience gained playing on turning Caribbean wickets.

Looking ahead to the county season, it already been confirmed that the 18-year-old will spend the majority of the season playing for the academy and in the Second XI championship.

With fellow allrounder Liam Dawson, recent England cap Mason Crane and young offspinner Brad Taylor ahead of him with the ball and the club recruiting top batting talent in Hashim Amla and Sam Northeast, it’s unlikely any first XI opportunities are forthcoming in 2018.

 

Also look out for…
Jack Plom (18) – Essex, Liam Trevaskis (18) – Durham, Ollie Robinson (19) – Kent, James Taylor (17) – Derbyshire

 

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