Aaron Beard named in England Under 19s Tour


Aaron Beard has been named in the 15-man squad for the England Under 19s tour of India in January and February.

Beard, 19, is currently with the Young Lions squad in Dubai and will now head out to India before joining up with Essex for pre-season training.

Yorkshire fast bowler Matthew Fisher will return to the England Under-19 set-up for the first time since the summer of 2014 on the tour of India early next year.
Fisher, who made his debut for the Under-19s as a 15-year-old in 2013 shortly after becoming the youngest ever county cricketer for Yorkshire, has been appointed to captain the team for a five-match one-day series against India Under-19s in Mumbai.

Middlesex opener Max Holden will then lead the team in two four-day matches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

The squad includes 10 uncapped players, four of whom were not involved on the Young Lions training camp in Dubai over the last three weeks – Nottinghamshire’s Liam Patterson-White and Somerset’s Louie Shaw, who are both left-arm spinners, and seamers Henry Brookes of Warwickshire, and Jack Bruce of Middlesex.

David Graveney OBE, the Under-19s chairman of selectors, said: “Touring India at any level is challenging, as the senior England team would confirm. But that is why it is so valuable to be able to expose our best young players to these challenges at Under-19 level.

“We expect the India team to be very strong, as they showed in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year and again in the Asia Cup, under the supervision of Rahul Dravid. So this is a huge opportunity for the 15 players who have been selected, especially with a return series against India at home next summer.

“Six players have been ruled out by injury – Surrey’s Amar Virdi, Worcestershire’s George Scrimshaw, Yorkshire’s Ed Barnes and Durham’s Josh Coughlin were all injured on the Young Lions training camp in Dubai this month, and Somerset’s Ben Green and Warwickshire’s George Panayi had been ruled out before that.

“Obviously that is a disappointment both to us and to those players, who have now returned to their counties. But it does provide opportunities for other players who have been on our radar for a while, and have impressed at Under-17 level in the regional Super-4 competition which is part of the Young Lions programme.

“It is a major boost to have the ability and experience of Matthew Fisher back in the squad. He was a key figure in England’s success in the 2014 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Dubai, and after he was affected by injuries in the 2016 summer this is a good opportunity for him to test himself against his contemporaries in different conditions in India.

“The Young Lions camp provided the majority of the squad with excellent preparation for the trip, with a number of ECB elite coaches supplementing the coaching staff who have been working with them throughout the winter. Paul Collingwood and Neil Killeen will now return to Durham, with England batting coach Mark Ramprakash and Jon Lewis from Sussex joining ECB lead spin-bowling coach Peter Such in Andy Hurry’s coaching team in India.”

Squad | M Fisher (Yorkshire, captain for one-day series), M Holden (Middlesex, captain for four-day matches), H Brook (Yorkshire)*, G Bartlett (Somerset), E Woods (Surrey)*, W Jacks (Surrey)*, D Rawlins (Sussex)*, O Pope (Surrey, wk), T Banton (Somerset, wk)*, L Patterson-White (Nottinghamshire)*, L Shaw (Somerset)*, A Beard (Essex), J Blatherwick (Nottinghamshire)*, H Brookes (Warwickshire)*, J Bruce (Middlesex)*. 

* – uncapped.

Fixtures | One-day series v India Under-19s (Mumbai) – Jan 30 (Wankhede Stadium), Feb 1 (CCI), 3 (CCI), 6 (Wankhede Stadium), 8 (Wankhede Stadium); Four-day matches v India Under-19s (Chennai) – Feb 13-16, 21-24 (both MA Chidambaram Stadium).