|Lees...even Boycs rates him!|
Andrea Agathangelou - crossing the Pennines, this batsman with one of those traditional Lancastrian names looks a promising player indeed. One of the stars of their promotion push last year, Andrea is the first Cypriot to play first class cricket and is another who can hang around all day. Bowls a bit of leg spin, catches pigeons at slip, the new Aggers is definitely one to watch. This bloke really could have it all this year, unlike the Cypriot government who just prefer their ten per cent out of your bank account. For those Lancastrians from Aigburth, he is from Cyprus and not Miley Cyrus as we wouldn't want to scare you as we know you guys don't twerk! How will Andrea cope with Division One is one of the big questions of 2014?
|I bloody well said Agathangelou...|
Dominic Sibley - last season at the Oval was about as grey as the nearby Aylesbury Estate by the Elephant and Castle, as Surrey were relegated. One ray of sunshine was opener Dominic Sibley who scored an amazing 242 against Yorkshire, becoming the youngest double centurion in the history of the County Championship. Big things are expected of this lad, and should get plenty of opportunities as the county sponsored by Stannah Stairlifts allow some of their older players to retire gracefully.
Jack Leach - not many people go from pushing supermarket trolleys to the professional game but that is exactly what Jack Leach has done. The bearded left arm spinner has a smooth action and the wheels of this spinner certainly don't veer off to the side. They like their own down in Somerset and Taunton born Leach, along with Irishman George Dockrell give Somerset plenty of options in the spin department. An extremely bright future, he will be a star as the Cidermen hope to (sains) bury the disappointment of last year's campaign. I'll get my coat...
|Leach...from pushing trolleys to pushing for a regular start|
Keaton Jennings - when I first saw this lads name in the papers I presumed he was an overseas West Indian. However, with a mother from Sunderland and his father, Ray Jennings an ex professional in South Africa, Geoff Cook snapped him up for Durham, where he has taken his opportunity well. A tall left hander, anyone who bats on the sporting wickets at Chester-le-Street and does ok, must be worth having a look at. A decent fielder, he has hands like Pat Jennings and we hope his batting is better than that of Somerset stalwart, Keith Jennings. A big year ahead as Durham defend their title.
Adam Rossington - Middlesex are extremely lucky to have two excellent wicket keepers in John Simpson and Adam Rossington. The hard hitting Rossington tends to play in the T20 and despite having been around for a few years, is still only twenty years of age. We like this guy, good hands, a good bat and he supports Barnet FC as well; must be a good lad. A ton against Cambridge Uni last year included ten balls that yielded 48 runs. He gives it a serious whack and spends more time on the pitch than Edgar Davids too.
|Rossington...hits it hard|
Ned Eckersley - another keeper who scored 1300 runs last season at an average of 50, 2013 was extremely successful for this Leicestershire keeper. Playing in a struggling side, Ned was the star of the Foxes dismal campaign last year and has learnt from his mentor, Paul Nixon. Getting nicked for drunk and disorderly, something that will no doubt endear him to most Middle Stump readers, he was named Cricinfo Breakthrough Player of 2013. Another big year for the first cricketer that I know to be called Edmund, and with Matt Prior coming to the end of his career, you never know if international honours are on the way.
Ateeq Javid - having responded that he was eating tuna and not fish once to Rikki Clarke, this 22 year old has far more about him than just being the butt of the jokes within the Warwickshire changing room. Bowling a bit of off spin, medium and being a fine batsman he has more avenues to his game than the Gravelly Hill Interchange, or Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction to you and I. Javid is an attacking batsman but also has a better defence than either Blues or Villa. An excellent player, Ateeq can really push on from an excellent first season and be part of the Bears team for years to come.
|Luke Wells...losing his Middle Stump|
Luke Wells - the Sussex bat has fine family credentials, being the son of Allan and the nephew of Colin. Some excellent performances down at Hove last year, has made Wells the darling of the South Coast brigade, and 2014 is a big year for this man. Whilst Wells may look like Ben Stokes, if I was Doris Stokes I would be predicting a big future for this left hander.