Norfolk duo Rob Newton and Bud Bailey have been handed another big chance to further their cricket careers – by being named in the England Under-16 squad to tour South Africa in the New Year.
Right-handed batsman Newton and opening bowler Bailey will be part of a 15-strong party setting out on the 16-day trip on February 3.
The two 15-year-olds play East Anglian Premier League cricket for Swardeston and are members of the Northamptonshire CCC Academy, prospering under the guidance of former England all-rounder David Capel.
Both players made their mark with outstanding performances during the 2005 season, when they each represented England Under-15s.
Newton, a former Taverham Hall prep school pupil now boarding at Framlingham College in Suffolk, said he was delighted by his call-up.
He said: “There are six or seven matches and the main ones will be against Western Province Under-17s and Boland Under-17s.”
“I had been kind of expecting to go because they don’t make too many changes to the squad, but it was still nice to find out for sure.”
Bailey, a 6ft 6in Wayland High School pupil from Watton, said: “I was over the moon when I got the letter. I’ve never been abroad, so to make my first trip overseas and play cricket for England is just brilliant.”
“It’s my 16th birthday on the day we come home, on February 19, so I’ll probably come straight home to bed and have to celebrate the next day.”
The England squad be managed by John Wake, former Bedfordshire captain, now coach at Oundle School, with David Parsons as coach.
Newton averaged 94.7 in schools cricket in the 2005 season and made the fastest 50s for England Under-15s against both Ireland Under-17s and Guyana Under-16s at Loughborough.
Bailey earned a prized scholarship for a week’s training with the England squad at the National Cricket Academy at Loughborough in January, as one of just four players selected from the 19th Bunbury English Schools Cricket Association Festival in Cornwall in July.
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press