Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Abrahams Believes Barnard Has England Under-19 Captaincy Potential

Worcestershire batsman Ed Barnard has been identified as a possible future England Under-19 captain by team manager John Abrahams.

Barnard and county team-mate Joe Clarke both impressed Abrahams during the recent Under-19 World Cup in which England reached the semi-finals.

Former Lancashire captain Abrahams, who was guest speaker of the Worcestershire Cricket Society's monthly meeting last night, believes the duo both have the potential to make the grade at first team level at New Road.

Abrahams said: "Both Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke did very well and both have enormous potential. They are both different types of player.

"Ed is a stylist orthodox player who plays shots all around the wicket and could easily be successful in the longer and shorter forms of the game. He is also a more than useful medium pace bowler.

"He also has quite a good cricket brain and was part of our leadership group so was involved in team discussions and team meetings representing the players.

"He is potentially captaincy material for the England Under-19s. I say potentially because that's a decision that has got to be made by other people as well."

Regarding wicket-keeper Clarke, Abrahams said: "He is quite an exciting batsman, unorthodox, has great confidence in his own ability, works very hard at is own game, especially his batting.

"He will be the sort of player that can change games, especially in the one-day context. He will have to be a little bit more disciplined as far as the longer form of the game is concerned.

"His wicket-keeping is improving all the time and he is well aware he needs to work at that part of his game if he wants to be seen as a genuine wicket-keeper-batsman."

When asked if the pair have the potential to step up to first team level in the county game, Abrahams said: "Very much so. With both of them still being at school, this summer will be really important.

"If they could get some matches for the county second eleven, I think that will help them, be really good for their grounding, and give them a taste of what county cricket is all about.

I see no reason after this initial season why they can't progress and play county cricket for a long, long time. There may well be opportunities this season."