Ben Green counting days until U19 Ashes trip

Ben GreenSomerset Academy youngster Ben Green has been receiving tips from England Test captain Alistair Cook before jetting out to Australia on Wednesday with the England under-19 squad.

The 17-year-old fast-bowling all-rounder, who came up through the Devon age groups before joining the Somerset Academy, will be in Australia for a month.

Green, who attends Exeter School and plays for Exeter in the Devon League, Premier Division, enjoyed considerable success when he played for Somerset Second XI last summer.

As part of the preparations for the tour, Green and the rest of the squad spent three days at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough working with coaches including Test captain Cook.

Green told the Devon Cricket website: “It was a long weekend and it was focused on getting our volumes up and also developing our mental toughness.”

‘We had a wide array of coaches including Floyd Woodrow, who is ex SAS, which was really good and Alastair Cook came up to the camp and gave us a batting master class which was great.

“I worked with Andy Flower on my batting and with Otis Gibson on my bowling so there was a wide range of knowledge and experience for us to feed off.’

Green said he was “ridiculously excited” about going on the tour, which follows a trip to Dubai before Christmas with the England Development Squad for a training camp.

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He is one of the younger players in the squad, but does not see that as an obstacle.

“There are only two from my age group in the tour party,” he said.

“I am hoping to be fully involved in all the matches we play and hopefully be on the team sheet all of the time.

“I know that I will have to fight for my place because it is a strong squad.”

Cook said the camp took him back to his own days as a player making his way in the game and said he was impressed by the standard of the England squad.

“It was great to spend time with the England under-19s before they go to Australia,” he said.

“It was interesting for me to see the next generation and see what level they are at. I’m pretty sure we will see a few England players from this group.

“It took me back to when I was an under-19.  Eleven or 12 years ago I was in the same boat, dreaming of playing professional cricket, so it was great to come back.”

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During the month-long tour from England will play a five-match one-day series and a one-off four-day match against Australia U19s at the WACA in Perth.

All the fixtures will place in Western Australia. Other venues are Murdoch University in Perth and the coastal town of Bunbury.

Overseeing the tour, the first to Australia by an England U19 squad in 10 years, will be former Somerset coach and now Head of the England Development Programme, Andy Hurry.

Australia U19s will visit England in August this year for a reciprocal tour, also consisting of five one-day matches and one four-day fixture.

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