Friday, 1 January 2016

Ones to watch in 2016

Every year on New Year's Day, we give you the names to look out for in the coming year. These are the ones to watch, the players who will light up the future of English cricket. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes our picks are stacking shelves in a supermarket the following year. Here we look at some of the brightest names coming through the ranks, and we are pleased to say that the future looks extremely bright. Happy New Year boys and girls...

Tom Curran...prospect
The Currans (Surrey) - Tom, Sam and Ben Curran are the sons of the late Kevin Curran. Many a Northants fan will be reading this and remembering him crashing the ball against the advertising boards in the shoe making town. Tom picked up 76 wickets last year despite one of the worst haircuts seen on a cricket pitch since Ishant Sharma modelled his mullet, Sam has been described by Alec Stewart as the best seventeen year old he has ever seen and Ben plays for the YC's. Big year and a big jump for them up in Division One this year but genetics show that they won't shirk a challenge.

Dewi Penrhyn-Jones (Glamorgan) - has there been a more Welsh sounding cricketer? He might sound like the sort of chap who would set fire to your holiday home in Snowdonia and he could well set fire to Division Two this year. I mentioned the likes of Aneurin Donald before who had a great year and here is another one coming off the SWALEC production line. Tall, he gets bounce and bowls at a fair old lick. This lad may have been born in Wrexham, and some of the batting in that division...as they say in Wales, he'll wrecks 'em.


Penrhyn-Jones...Welsh perchance?

Max Holden (Middlesex) - this stylish left hander was only old enough to buy an alcoholic drink the week before Christmas. He is that young that Tim Murtagh was just a senior pro when he was born! With the ability to bowl the odd off break he is a very useful cricketer and if Angus Fraser has taken a punt on the Cambridge lad in cricketing and not boating terms by offering him a new deal, he must have something about him. He will join the county full time after his A levels this summer. Rumour has it that his cover drive even brought a smile out of Gus...well perhaps a smirk.

Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire) - another quick who will have a big step up in Division One this year, this lad has genuine wheels. Last year he was named England Development Bowler of the Year and he will surprise a few people. Will this Rochdale lad be the most famous person from the town since Gracie Fields or Lisa Stansfield? If so, the Lancashire fans will certainly give him some Affection.


Mason Crane...not an American detective


Mason Crane (Hampshire) - this leg spinner made a few people sit up and take notice as he helped keep the county in Division One last year. Not afraid to give it a real rip, he is also accurate in one of the hardest skills to acquire. Whilst he may have the name of a 1960's American private investigator tv series, he'll be getting batsmen to nick behind as opposed to getting nicked. Oh and his middle name is Sidney. Definitely one to watch.

George Bartlett (Somerset) - the pick of some fantastic talent burgeoning down in the West, this lad is still not old enough to legally buy a pint. A pupil at Millfield, one of the finest schools for cricketing talent he has no better coach in nurturing young talent than Matthew Maynard. An excellent middle order bat, he had a good tour for England Under 19's recently. In the county famous for cider, there are some tasty apples growing on the Taunton tree. This lad is just one of the bunch.


Bartlett...one of several rising stars at Somerset

Daniel Lawrence (Essex) - this alumni of Chingford, the home of David Beckham made all cricket fans sit up and take notice last year. Assured, stylish and graceful not many seventeen year olds can go and score a 161 in county cricket. Rumours that to celebrate he drove his Ford Capri down to Southend sea front and performed wheel spins are completely unfounded. Essex may have had some grim times recently, but there is a star shining in the east and this lad will go a long way.

Ryan Davies (Somerset) - Kent has produced some wonderful keepers over the years; think Godfrey Evans, Alan Knott, Leslie Ames and here is another. Came into the Kent side when Sam Billings got the England one day nod last year, Somerset offered him regular first team cricket and they have got themselves a bargain. Not only good technically with the gloves, he can bat as the county skippered by Northeast lost a lad to the south west. Keep an eye on this one, he'll go far.

Happy New Year everyone.

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