The England squad will play a five-match one-day series and one-off four-day match against Australia Under-19s in Western Australia.
The former Somerset coach and now Head of the England Development Programme, Andy Hurry, will oversee the month-long tour starting on 25 March, with support from EDP coaches Tim Boon and Ian Brunnschweiler.
The entire series will be played in Western Australia, with the standalone four-day match taking place at the famous WACA ground from April 6-9, followed by the one-day fixtures on April 13 and 15 in Bunbury, and 18, 21 and 24 at Murdoch University.
Ben’s selection is a huge achievement. The 17-year-old all-rounder came up through the Devon youth system before joining the Somerset Academy and making his debut for the Second XI last season when he claimed 3 for 18 in a match against Gloucestershire.
England Development Programme Chairman of Selectors, David Graveney, said: “This is the first time that an England U19 squad has toured Australia in over 10 years, and it represents a fantastic development opportunity for all of the players – particularly the chance to play a four-day match at the WACA.
“With all but one of the players selected eligible for the 2016 ICC U19 World Cup in Bangladesh next February, this tour, along with the subsequent reciprocal series on home soil in August, forms a hugely important part of England’s preparation for that tournament.
“This will be the first time we have played Australia U19s since we beat them in the third place play-off match in last year’s ICC U19 World Cup in UAE. That was a closely contested affair and we expect this series to be equally hard fought. Every Australian team that plays the game is always extremely competitive, and their U19 squad will be no different, especially given the quality of coaching provided by the likes of Greg Chapple, Graeme Hick and Troy Cooley.
“The fact that 2015 is an Ashes year for the men and women will only heighten interest in this U19 series, and I am certain that all 16 of the England players selected for the tour will be keen to set the tone for the summer.”
Australia U19s are due to subsequently visit England in August this year for a reciprocal tour, once again consisting of a one-off four-day match and five one-day fixtures.
The 16-man squad has been selected from the 2014-2015 England Development Programme (EDP) intake, and includes Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed and off-spinner Brad Taylor (Hampshire) – both of whom starred in England U19s’ Royal London One Day International series whitewash against South Africa U19s last summer. In addition, the selectors have added Kent’s Hugh Bernard from outside the EDP, in order to supplement the seam bowling options.
Ben has already had a busy winter since being included in the 2014-15 EDP intake. In December he took part in an intensive ten-day training camp at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
A product of Exeter School and Exeter Cricket Club, Ben is a genuine all-rounder, who has scored plenty of runs in men’s cricket in Devon and bowls with express pace.
UPDATE: When he heard the news Ben said: “I am really pleased to be included in the England Under 19 tour party to Australia and I’m really looking forward to it.
“We will be based around Perth and it’s a pretty packed schedule and Andy Hurry is in overall charge of things so it will be god to link up with him again.
“When I get back from Australia I have got to fit in my exams so I will have to get some work done out there as well as concentrating on my cricket!”
Ben went on: “The Somerset Academy has helped me so much in getting this far in my cricketing career. Without training with them twice a week I wouldn’t have been able to get the volume of work done that I have so I am really happy with my development.”
He added: “The fact that could possibly make a career as a professional cricketer is really exciting for me.”
Somerset Academy Director Steve Snell said: “It’s really exciting news for Ben. All lot of people are very excited about him. His bowling and batting are very good and his character is outstanding too.
“To be playing a couple of years above his age group is testament to how good he could be. A lot of credit has to go to the Academy coaches here who have helped him get to that level but also to the coaches in Devon, where he is from.
Steve added: “There are many different ways to develop players these days but the route that Ben has taken just shows that playing in the Minor Counties environment and then progressing through to the Somerset Academy is a really good stepping stone to get the type of honours that he has achieved.”
The full England U19 squad is: Hugh Bernard (Kent), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Ryan Davies (Kent), Will Davis (Derbyshire), Aneurin Donald (Glamorgan), Ben Green (Somerset), Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire), Max Holden (Middlesex), Mosun Hussain (Yorkshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Brad Taylor (Hampshire), Callum Taylor (Essex), Aaron Thomason (Warwickshire), Jared Warner (Yorkshire) and Joe Weatherley (Hampshire).
- Meanwhile two other members of the Somerset Academy, George Bartlett and Sam Underdown, are taking part in the England Development Programme’s Under 17s tour to the UAE this month. We’ll have an update on their progress on The Incider soon.