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Ryan Davies set to take on Australia Under-19s

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Men’s First Team

Kent wicketkeeper Ryan Davies is set to take on Australia for the England Under 19s today at Durham's Emirates ICG.

Coach Andy Hurry has urged his team to relish the opportunity of a four-day match against their Australian counterparts.

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It will be the first four-day match between the teams in this country at Under-19 level since 1999, when Ian Bell was a member of the England team, and Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson were touring with Australia.

Hurry is without three members of the 16-man squad originally selected for the match last month, as Sam Curran, Mason Crane and Saif Zaib are all playing regular first-team cricket for Surrey, Hampshire and Northamptonshire respectively.

“We have reached an agreement with each of the directors of cricket depending on what is in the best long-term interests of the player,” Hurry explained.

“It’s exciting that so many young players are now considered ready for 1st XI cricket by their counties, and already making a major contribution. Mason came to Australia with the Under-19s earlier this year, and both Sam and Saif were in the Under-17 squad who played Pakistan in the UAE. The development opportunities they are getting in first-class cricket are huge.

“But equally the opportunity to play against Australia, at an English Test ground, as an England national team is a huge one. Matthew Fisher at Yorkshire is another player who would have been available for this series, and also the Under-19 World Cup next year, but again we have agreed with Yorkshire it is in his long-term interests to continue playing first team cricket.

“I’m really excited about the depth of talent we have, and the prospect of watching this team have another crack at the Aussies.”

Both teams have changed since England grafted to a rain-affected draw in Perth in April. England have nine members of the team who played at the Waca in their 13-man squad. Of the four newcomers, the Hampshire opener Tom Alsop scored a half century in last week’s warm-up match against Unicorns, and Dan Lawrence made a record-breaking first-class debut for Essex against Surrey in April. They are joined by the Lancashire legspinner Matt Parkinson and George Garton, a left-arm seamer from Sussex.

Australia have only three survivors from that match – including Jake Doran, a highly-rated left-hander who played against the senior England team as a 16-year-old for a Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs on the last Ashes tour, and will captain their team.

They also include Ian Healy’s son Tom, a wicketkeeper like his dad, and are being coached on this tour – which also features a five-match one-day series – by the former Worcestershire and England batsman Graeme Hick.

“Every one of the guys here is eligible for the Under-19s World Cup next year,” explained Greg Chappell, the former Australia captain who is making his first tour of England in a professional capacity for almost two decades, as Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager.

“The reason behind the tour is to expose the boys to different conditions, different opposition, different balls. Obviously some of these guys will go and be Australia cricketers in the future. So we try and expose them to the sub-continent, and obviously England is another place where Australia plays a lot of cricket. One thing we do know about player development it happens in matches more than in the nets so the more games we can give these guys the better it is for their development.”

England (from): Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire, capt), Ryan Davies (Kent, wk), Tom Alsop (Hampshire), Max Holden (Middlesex), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Callum Taylor (Essex), Aaron Thomason (Warwickshire), Ben Green (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Brad Taylor (Hampshire), Jared Warner (Yorkshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), George Garton (Sussex).

Australia (from): J Doran (capt), T Healy (wk), J Gauci, C Jewell, J Pattinson, W Pucovski, J Richardson, L Hatcher, F Seymour, D Grant, S Grimwade, B Smith, B Taylor.