September 10, 2002

Stevens named in final Academy squad

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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.