|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
October 13, 2009
The England Lions batsmen, Stephen Moore and Michael Carberry, have moved a step closer to international recognition after being named, alongside the seamers Mark Davies and Amjad Khan, in the top grade of the ECB's enhanced England Performance Programme that gets underway in November.
In total, the ECB have named 41 players whom it regards as the best up-and-coming prospects in the country, and divided them into a range of different squads according to the players' differing stages of development.
Moore, Carberry, Davies and Khan, who made his Test debut in the Caribbean earlier this year, are the only players to be named in the top-tier 'A' Grade. "This is great news for me," said Khan. "It goes to show that I am still highly thought of by the England selectors. Theoretically, I guess, I'm only a couple of injuries away from playing international cricket again."
The 'B' Group players include the Middlesex seamer, Steven Finn, and Leicestershire's Young Player of the Year, James Taylor, and are described by the ECB as "those with experience of first-class cricket and are perceived to be 1-3 years away from the England team". The 'C' Group players are, on the whole, younger and with less experience of first-class cricket, but are likely to have taken part in the ECB's Elite Player Development Programme.
The 'A' graded players will receive individualised support programmes, meeting their specific developmental needs, and will link up with Ian Bell, Steven Davies, Ryan Sidebottom and Liam Plunkett for a training camp at the CSA High Performance Centre in Pretoria, ahead of the Test series in South Africa this winter.
The 'B' and 'C' Group players will undertake separate training camps at the National Cricket Performance Centre (NCPC) at Loughborough and Pretoria respectively. Both camps will feature some competitive cricket opportunities.
The players on the South Africa training camp before Christmas will have the opportunity to work alongside Graham Gooch, Allan Donald and Saqlain Mushtaq, who will support the full-time coaching team of David Parsons, Kevin Shine, Dene Hills and Bruce French, at various stages throughout the camp.
Furthermore, a group of young fast bowlers selected as part of the Programme will also spend time at a conditioning camp in Florida and at the MRF Fast Bowling Camp in Chennai under the guidance of Australian legend Dennis Lillee. Those players include the Surrey pairing of Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker, as well as the Ireland paceman, Boyd Rankin.
"I am really excited about the depth of the programme we have put in place for our most talented young players this winter," said the ECB Performance Director, David Parsons. "We will be offering a greater range of training and support than before and have carefully tailored the programme to ensure that we can cater to the specific needs of individuals and their stages of development.
"To see eight players who were part of the England Performance Programme last winter selected for England's tour of South Africa next month is a good indication of the importance of the programme for a player's development," added Parsons.
"With players like Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Trott and Graham Onions having made an immediate impact in the international arena this summer, having spent time with EPP and England Lions squads recently, we are keen to identify other players within County Cricket who can make a difference to the full England side. "
'A' Players Mark Davies (Durham), Amjad Khan (Kent), Stephen Moore (Lancashire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire)
'B' Players Steven Finn (Middlesex), Andrew Gale (Yorkshire), Rory Hamilton-Brown (Sussex), Chris Jordan (Surrey), Chris Nash (Sussex), Joe Sayers (Yorkshire), Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire), James Taylor (Leicestershire), David Wainwright (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
'C' Players Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Vikram Banerjee (Gloucestershire), Keith Barker (Warwickshire), William Beer (Sussex), Alex Blake (Kent), Andy Carter (Nottinghamshire), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Luke Fletcher (Nottinghamshire), Billy Godleman (Essex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Richard Johnson (Warwickshire), Richard Jones (Worcestershire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Jake Mickleburgh (Essex), Sam Northeast (Kent), Ollie Rayner (Sussex), Ian Saxelby (Gloucestershire), John Simpson (Middlesex), Tom Smith (Sussex), Max Waller (Somerset), Adam Wheater (Essex), David Willey (Northamptonshire)
Fast Bowling Programme Jade Dernbach (Surrey), David Griffiths (Hampshire), James Harris (Glamorgan), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches
Bide your time, put your body behind each delivery, and play with the batsman's mind