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Hamza Shaikh is "very proud" to have made his senior Warwickshire debut and determined to earn more chances in the fist team.

The 16-year-old made his debut in the thrilling four-run Royal London Cup win over Sussex at Edgbaston last Friday and looked immediately at home at that level.

After the Bears batted first, Shaikh looked very comfortable on his way to 25 out of an opening stand of 69 with Rob Yates before he was run out after being called for a very quick single by his partner.

It was an accomplished start by the latest youngster to graduate through the Bears’ player pathway alongside the excellent grounding received from playing in local club cricket. Birmingham-born Shaikh developed his game first at Smethwick before moving on to Knowle & Dorridge.

Yesterday at Leicester he was back on 12th man duties as Dom Sibley returned to the team, but Shaikh is eager to get further first-team outings soon.

“I am very proud,” he said. “I was very excited to play in the game on Friday so I will just keep working hard and hopefully get more chances.

“I found out the week before that I would be playing in the game so that gave me time for preparation and I was pleased with the way it went. I felt nice out there. There wasn’t much express pace to the bowling so I felt pretty good.

“I really enjoyed batting with Yatesy and it was a shame I got run out but that’s just one of those things that happens in cricket. Next time I will learn from that and hopefully it won’t happen again.”

Shaikh’s emergence into the first team squad follows that of other local lads Henry and Ethan Brookes, Rob Yates and Dan Mousley in recent years.

“I was at Smethwick from the age of 12 and worked my way through into senior cricket there,” he said. “I got my first senior hundred there which was really exciting. Then after that I moved on to K&D which is where I am now and I really enjoy it there.

“Then I played for the Bears 2nds and it was amazing to play for the 1st team. It felt really nice because I had worked my way from age-group to second team and then got my chance in the first team.

“It was a great game to be part of and a really exciting win with a great crowd and it was a memorable debut. Hopefully now we can carry on and do really well in the competition.”

U16s go FREE to Royal London Cup this summer

Edgbaston will host four 50-over Royal London Cup matches during the summer school holidays this August.

Under 16s will go free to all matches, while adult tickets are only £15. Purchase your tickets in advance today.

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