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Bernard hoping for England Under 19 homecoming

Monday 15th August 2016

Men’s First Team

Kent seamer Hugh Bernard hopes to be given the chance to represent England on his home county ground when the Royal London Under-19 One-Day Series against Sri Lanka concludes with a day-night match at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Tuesday (2pm).

Bernard, who made his first-class debut for Kent earlier this season, missed out on the second game of the series in Chelmsford on Saturday, when the Sri Lankans took an unbeatable 2-0 lead with a breathless one-wicket win.

Click here to book tickets to see England Under 19s on Tuesday and/or Kent Spitfires v Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday

But after taking two for 43 in the opening match of the series in Wormsley last Wednesday, he hopes local knowledge will help to earn him a recall as England aim to avoid a whitewash.

“It’d be great to play,” said Bernard, a tall fast bowler with a range of tattoos who is Canterbury born and bred, and currently lives in a flat overlooking the ground. “I was disappointed and frustrated to miss out on the Under-19s World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year, but I said then that I was eager to play in this game on home turf because I knew this game was coming up. So to get the call was really good.”

Bernard was a late inclusion in England’s squad for the one-day series, but made an immediate impact by taking a wicket with his third delivery after being given the new ball in Wormsley.

“I was happy with the way I bowled at Wormsley,” he added. “It was good to come in and stamp my mark on things. I don’t think it was a performance issue I was dropped for.

“I got a call the fourth day of our Championship game here against Worcester, asking if I’d be interested in coming and playing. Obviously I was delighted to get the call and the chance to come back and work with the coaches.

“It’s a new squad but I’ve got on well with the guys here and there’s a couple of old faces that I know so that’s good as well.”

He has been impressed, although not surprised, by the quality of the Sri Lanka opposition. “They’re a good side, with a lot of experience from the World Cup, and they know each others’ games,” he reflected. “It’s good especially for our young guys to be put against that, really good for our development – and for your confidence if you do well.”

“If you look at the way we improved with the bat from the first game to the second game at Chelmsford, if we can just get another level with the ball, we’ve definitely got a shout. It’s going to be exciting.”

Click here to book tickets to see England Under 19s on Tuesday and/or Kent Spitfires v Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday