Jacob Bethell admits his inclusion in England's Under 19s squad for next weeks ODI series against West Indies is the latest twist to a season which has "exceeded expectations."
The 17-year will make his international U19s bow in the six-match series starting at Beckenham on Saturday after making an excellent impression on his elevation to Warwickshire’s first team squad this year.
First year pro Bethell has this summer played eight Royal London Cup games, scoring one half-century (a brilliant 66 against Yorkshire at York) and taking 11 wickets with his left arm spin. He also made three appearances in the Vitality Blast.
Now Barbados-born Bethell will make his England debut against the country of his birth, having been at Edgbaston on the Warwickshire player pathway for four years. He also developed his game as a pupil at Rugby School where former Bears captain Michael Powell is director of cricket.
“I am really excited to be picked in the England U19s squad,” he said. “It has been a really pleasing season for me. After signing my first contract just before the season I just wanted to play well for the 2nd XI and maybe push for a first team game at some stage, so for all this to have happened has exceeded expectations.
“It has been great experience to get some first-team games and I was happy to make some impact with bat and ball. The game at York, at a nice ground with a good crowd in, was really enjoyable. It was one of those days when everything you try seems to come off.Jacob Bethell
“I’m really looking forward to joining up with the Under 19s. I know two or three of the players in the West Indies squad and have played against most of them so it will be good fun.
“Hopefully, I can do well in the series and then come back to the Bears and try to help them challenge for the championship.”
England’s Under 19s ODI series against the Windies begins at Beckenham on Saturday with further games at Beckenham next Monday and Wednesday before the remaining three matches take place at Polo Farm, Canterbury on Friday September 10th, Tuesday September 14th and Friday September 17th.