Warwickshire's three young England Lions will not only return to Edgbaston with invaluable experience, but plenty of plaudits.
Tazeem Ali, Hamza Shaikh and Theo Wylie were all included in a 17-player squad that took part in an ODI Quadrangular Series against India A, India B and Bangladesh this month.
All 17, the trio impressed individually and collectively as England won three games in Mulapadu.
Hamza was the star of the tournament with the bat. The Knowle and Dorridge CC product was first in total runs scored with 464 (185 runs clear of second), fours (45) and sixes (23). The right-hander struck two centuries with his 126 the highest score of the competition and he finished second in catches (7).
Wylie, a Shropshire native and former Shrewsbury School pupil, was second to Hamza in the highest score chart (118 runs) and seventh in total runs. With the ball, he took four wickets bowling left-arm spin.
Taz, who made his first-team debut in the One Day Cup this year, made three appearances taking one wicket and finishing third in economy rate (3.71) and fourth in dot ball percentage (64.71).
“Taz probably didn’t get the game time he wanted, but that was down to the balance of the team,” said First Team Coach Mark Robinson. “The reports we’ve received are that he has done very well.
“Theo, who got that hundred, put in an eye-catching performance. We know he’s a work in progress, as he’s converted himself from a quick bowler who bats seven or eight to a left-arm spinner now opening the batting in white ball cricket. It’s exciting to see him have these days out and show his capability. Hopefully, with time he’ll get that consistency.
“Hamza has been the star of the tour and to bang out two hundreds and a 64 – which included six sixes – is outstanding and exciting for everyone to watch.
“Michael Yardy is someone I know very well and he’s in charge of the Under-19s. He was singing Hamza’s praises all last summer and likewise this winter.
“He talks about his composure and his calmness as he’s added to his explosiveness. He has that potential assassin’s mindset to score runs and it sounds encouraging for the future.”
All three will return to Edgbaston this week, although their January plans will be announced very soon.
The England Under-19s squad is due to be released shortly with the trio putting in a strong claim to be selected for the tournament that starts on January 14.
In recent years, Dan Mousley and Jacob Bethell have been called up, putting in match-winning performances on the big stage.
“England have a World Cup after Christmas and they’ll be desperate to produce that kind of form,” added Robinson. “If Hamza does, he’ll get them somewhere close, but it will be tough when they come to meet India or Australia in the later rounds.
“We have to be guarded about what we do say as they’re young kids.
“They’re all just 17 years old and I know Hamza has got to come back and catch up with some college work.
“We won’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but we’ll take pleasure in everything they’ve achieved so far.”
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