Friday, May 15th, 2015

Barnard No Regrets About Focusing Fully On County Commitments

Barnard No Regrets About Focusing Fully On County Commitments

Ed Barnard has no regrets about passing up the opportunity to be part of England's Under-19 squad in Australia in favour of focusing on challenging for a first team spot with Worcestershire.

All-rounder Barnard and fellow county player, wicket-keeper batsman Joe Clarke, both opted not to make themselves available for the recent series Down Under.

Both of them were part of the Under-19 squad which finished third in the 2014 World Cup and have relished their experiences at that level.

But Barnard, who played in Australia for Queanbeyan District this winter, believes he made the right decision after consulting with Worcestershire Director of Cricket, Steve Rhodes, and his parents.

He impressed during the pre-season programme, scored his first century for the Seconds last week against Warwickshire at Barnt Green and is part of the squad in action in the current game against New Zealand at New Road.

Barnard said: "It was a big decision. Obviously everytime you play for your country it is a huge honour and to turn it down was quite tough.

"But I had quite a big conversation with Bumpy (Rhodes) and with my parents and it was just what was best for me really.

"It's been shown that being part of the pre-season and linking up with all the lads has done me just as good as going over there to Australia and playing again.

"I played a couple of years for the Under-19s and did okay but I just wanted to get in and be around the first team and give myself every possible chance of being in the squad.

"If I had gone out there, I'd have been playing catch-up with Worcestershire.

"I might have not been able to go to Abu Dhabi and I would have missed all the pre-season games which are a big opportunity to give everyone a go, the younger lads and see what they can do."