Sunday, 1 January 2017

Ones to watch in 2017

OK so you know the drill by now. Each year on New Year's Day, we pick the up and coming youngsters who will be ones to watch over the coming year. Like Wisden, previous players mentioned will not be on these pages, although Wisden and the Middle Stump are rarely spoken about in the same sentence. Some of our previous mentions have made it - Haseeb Hameed, Ben Duckett and others have graced this column previously, whilst some fall by the wayside - that's the nature of professional sport. Anyway, read on and see which ones we think will go much further in the game.

Hameed...one of our ones to watch in previous years
Kiran Carlson - at the start of last season this lad wasn't legally allowed to buy a pint of Brain's on a night out in St Mary Street but the Glamorgan faithful certainly knew about him by the end of the year. The off spinner picked up a fivefer on debut and then became the youngest centurion ever for the Welsh county with a stylish hundred against Essex. Schooled at Whitchurch High, home of Sam Warburton and Gareth Bale, the school also gave the world Howard Jones. With no finer person than Robert Croft to complete an off spinning all rounder's education, the Cardiff crowd are hoping that they like to get to know him well, as his ex school pupil Jones would say.

Dominic Bess - 6-41 on debut, including ex England stars Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott in successive balls made the world sit up and take notice of this Exeter born spinner. He followed that up with another 'Michelle' in the final game and nearly helped bowl Somerset to the County Championship. Matt Maynard is putting together some quality youngsters in the West Country with 22 year old Tom Abell skippering. Just two years old when Marcus Trescothick made his England debut, Bess is an integral part of the 'Matt Pack' coming through in Taunton.


Bess...a sparkling debut

Aaron Beard - despite having a name that might be a part of a hipsters attire, this Essex quick made the Chelmsford public sit up and take notice as he blasted out a couple of the Sri Lankan top order in a warm up game. Having been a sub fielder for England at just 15, this schoolboy protege has genuine pace and is one to watch as Essex face the might of Division One. Having overcome back problems, he has shown character to come back from them. There is nothing fluffy about this 19 year old Beard.

Jared Warner - Joe Root might be a bit worried about having to share a dressing room with a bloke called Warner but this Yorkshire seamer could well become part of the furniture at Headingley over the next few years. Selected for the England Under 19's, where he roomed with Haseeb Hameed, the Wakefield born youngster is part of the production line for a county that has produced some of the finest bowlers that ever drew breath, according to one of them. Watch out for this lad.


"I've got to share a dressing room with a bloke called Warner?!?"

Harry Brook - another from the Yorkshire Academy, how long will it be before Yorkshire have a Brooks and a Brook in their side? Under the watchful eye of Martin Speight at Sedbergh School, he made his first class debut last year against Pakistan A. A quality top order batsman, he has been a run machine on the northern school circuit and despite not being legally old enough to enter a bookies, it won't be long before Yorkshire take a punt on this lad. Not many people have played for the county with a middle name of Cherrington though, it has to be said!

Delray Rawlins - the fantastically named Delray Millard Wendall Rawlins is a left arm spinner making waves down in Hove. Sussex snapped him up after some excellent performances for his native Bermuda. A hard hitting left handed batsman too, this guy is without a doubt, one to watch this year. Just 19, he has accuracy and turns the ball a long way by all accounts. Sussex are in transition at present since their relegation to Division Two and it wouldn't surprise me to see him given a go this season. He is Worthing, sorry worthy of a place in the side. I'll get my coat...


Delray Rawlins

Ben Green - another Somerset lad coming through the system. This all rounder gives it a whack, bowls at a decent pace, is a good fielder and made his debut in T20 cricket last year. It was enough for the county to offer him a three year deal in August. He regularly picks up wickets for the county second eleven and he is one to watch over the next few years. It won't be long before Green wears the maroon of the county, as Somerset are building something special in the West.

Here's to a fantastic 2017!

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