September 10, 2002

Stevens named in final Academy squad

Leicestershire batsman Darren Stevens has been named in the England Academy squad who will spend the winter in Australia under the guidance of Rodney Marsh.

It crowns a successful season for 26-year-old Stevens who has scored more than 1500 runs in all cricket and is approaching 800 runs in the Championship.

Delighted Leicestershire coach Phil Whitticase said: "It's fantastic news and Darren fully deserves this wonderful opportunity.

"He has scored heavily in all competitions, and although he lost his way a little bit in the Championship he was back to his best in the last match against Yorkshire with a brilliant 80 in our second innings. I am delighted for him."

Stevens has hit one Championship century against Warwickshire and five other half-centuries.He has also piled on the runs in the Norwich Union League with a top score of 125 against Durham, 91 against Notts and three more half-centuries.

Left-arm fast bowler Matthew Whiley who was in the provisional squad announced earlier in the season, has been omitted from the final party to go to Adelaide.