Kent captain Sam Northeast feels honoured to receive an England Lions call-up to play West Indies A this winter.
The 28-year-old received a long-awaited selection since receiving Under-19 honours as a teenager.
Northeast said: “I still have aspirations to play for England so I’m delighted to get the call-up.
“It’s always an honour to represent your country and I haven’t been able to do it since my Under-19 days which I thoroughly enjoyed.
“It’s a great step in the right direction to reach my goal which is to play for England.”
Northeast is one of a number of Kent Cricket Academy graduates to receive a Lions call-up and believes it’s a boost for the dressing room.
The skipper said: “The most important thing is to keep scoring runs and winning games of cricket with Kent which will put me in contention.
“All we can do is win games of cricket. Kent is a great place to play cricket and we are working hard to improve and win trophies.”
The Ashford-born batsman is looking forward to an extended stay in the Caribbean in 2018 with the FGS Plant Tour in late January and February followed by the Lions series in March, also in Antigua.
The Kent Cricket Academy graduate said: “I’ll be spending quite a bit of time out there and I’ll get to know the place really well
“We know exactly what to expect this year. We had no idea what to expect in terms of the pitches, conditions and training facilities on the 2017 tour.
“We’ll go out there and try and win the Super50 competition. It is a pre-season tour and we are building up towards April and the start of the Specsavers County Championship but if we can play some good cricket, it will give the squad confidence and momentum which we can take into our summer.
“We started the season well in 2017 following the Tour although we didn’t go well in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
“It will be a competitive tournament and there are a lot of places up for grabs so we’re looking forward to it.”