Thakor to captain England U-19s
Shiv Thakor, the Leicestershire allrounder, has been named captain of an inexperienced England Under-19 squad to tour South Africa next year.
Thakor, 19, is one of the most highly-rated young players in the county game and already has a first-class average of 51.41 having played nine matches. With his medium pace he has also claimed seven wickets.
The emphasis of the trip, which includes two four-day Youth Tests and five Youth one-day internationals, is on preparing for the next U-19 World Cup which will be held in 2014. So some players who remain eligible for the age group, such as the Essex left-arm quick Reece Topley and the Overton brothers, Craig and Jamie from Somerset, have not been selected.
England were knocked out in the quarter-finals of this year's U-19 World Cup in Australia.
Tim Boon, the U-19 coach, said: "Shiv Thakor of Leicestershire has been appointed tour captain and is one of three Under-19s players. The squad includes five players with high potential who have graduated from the ECB's Under-17s England Development Programme. The learning curve will be steep with three international series prior to the next ICC Under-19s World Cup in February 2014.
"Four players still eligible for the Under-19s squad have progressed to the Potential England Performance Programme fast bowlers squad while Essex wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, a recent graduate from the England Development Programme, has also toured India this winter with the EPP."
Aside from Thakor, just two other members of the squad have played first-team cricket for their counties. Ben Duckett has made one Twenty20 appearance for Northamptonshire and his county team-mate Oli Stone has more extensive experience with three first-class matches, eight one-dayers and four T20s.
The first tour match in South Africa starts on January 23 with the opening four-day game, in Cape Town, from January 27. The trip runs until February 21.
Squad Shiv Thakor (Leicestershire, capt), Tom Barber (Hampshire), Ed Barnard (Worcestershire), Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire), Harry Finch (Sussex), Ryan Gibson (Yorkshire), Gavin Griffiths (Lancashire), Miles Hammond (Gloucestershire), Callum Jackson (Sussex), Josh Shaw (Yorkshire), Tom Shrewsbury (Gloucestershire), Dominic Sibley (Surrey), Olly Stone (Northamptonshire), Jonny Tattersall (Yorkshire), Kishen Velani (Essex)