Middlesex’s eighteen-year-old opening batsman Max Holden began a busy winter of activity with the England Young Lions this week up at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough. Today, he and the rest of the Young Lions squad will meet and work with former England international batsman James Taylor.
Whilst Taylor may have had his international playing career cut cruelly short, England believe he can still play a big part in the development of the next generation of stars.
That is why the former Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire batsman has been invited to share his experiences and expertise with the Young Lions at their training camp at Loughborough this week.
England have already appointed Durham captain Paul Collingwood and Sussex bowling coach Jon Lewis to the coaching staff for the Young Lions programme this winter, which includes a three-week trip to Dubai before Christmas followed by the challenge of a tour of India in the New Year.
The involvement of Taylor completes a trio who share exactly 350 international caps – and that’s before adding the wealth of experience of full-time ECB coaches such as Graham Thorpe, Peter Such and Bruce French.
Andy Hurry, the Young Lions head coach, explained:
“This week’s camp is the first opportunity for us to have contact with the players this winter leading into the series in India.
“One of our fundamental aims is to introduce them to the challenges of playing cricket in the sub-continent, and James Taylor is the ideal man in that regard.
“Titch is just coming out of the international game, so he’s very current. We’re going to have a question and answer session for him to share his experiences regarding playing and touring in the sub-continent with our group – a chance for them to ask him how he may have had to adapt his game to be successful.
“He’ll also be involved in our session on batting against spin led by Graham Thorpe and Paul Collingwood. Having just returned from Bangladesh with Colly, I had an opportunity to see how effectively he works with players, so I’m really excited to have him with us.
“The same goes for Jon Lewis, who has international experience to draw from including bowling for England in the sub-continent, and is already very highly regarded as a coach after his work with Sussex.”
Hurry relished his experience of the senior England set-up during their one-day series in Bangladesh and is keen to share that knowledge with the Young Lions squad, in which ten counties are represented.
“It was very exciting for me to see how Team England operate, how Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace work together, and the environment they’ve developed there,” added the former Somerset coach. “I can share that with the under-19s, ahead of what is going to be an exciting and challenging winter for us all.”
Hurry is unique in having made two coaching trips to Bangladesh with England this year, having led the Under-19s to their World Cup in February.
“I really enjoy it out there,” he added. “I love their passion for cricket, and the challenges presented to players are unique – I’d love to take our Young Lions out there to face those challenges at some point in the future.”
Young Lions (for training camps in Loughborough and Dubai in Nov/Dec):