Max Holden, Middlesex's opening batsman, has been appointed to captain England’s Under-19s in two four-day matches and a Royal London One-Day Series against Sri Lanka this summer.
Holden is one of only a handful of players remaining from England’s squad for the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, partly because of the progress being made at county level by several players who remain eligible. Somerset’s George Bartlett is the only other player in a 14-man squad for the four-day matches who was involved in the World Cup, while his county team-mate Ben Green and the Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Moores are included in a separate 14-man squad for the three-match 50-over series – which ends with a day-night match at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, to be shown live on Sky Sports.
Moores is one of three players in that squad to have played county cricket this season – in his case during a loan spell with Lancashire in the NatWest T20 Blast. The others are Gloucestershire’s George Hankins - who like Moores and Bartlett attended Millfield School – and the Essex seamer Aaron Beard.
But the county who provide the most players are Worcestershire, with Ben Twohig, Zen Malik, Josh Tongue and Josh Dell in both squads, and Ollie Westbury swelling their representation to five for the four-day matches.
David Graveney OBE, the chairman of selectors of the England Development Programme, said:
“Congratulations to Max on being appointed captain, and to all the other players who have been selected for what should be an interesting and challenging series of matches against Sri Lanka in two formats.
“Max has been in the EDP for a number of years, and has progressed from a position where he was one of the youngest players to now being one of the senior players and earning the captaincy, which I know he is excited about.
“We always work closely with counties to decide what is best for the development of each player, and it has been pleasing to see that 14 players who represented England Under-19s over the last 12 months have played first-team cricket this season, including 11 of the 15 we took to the World Cup in Bangladesh – and in many cases have already made significant contributions.
“Clearly we took that into account in selecting this squad, and that has led to opportunities for a number of other players.
“We had initially planned for Jared Warner of Yorkshire to lead the team in the Royal London One-Day Series, but sadly he has a back issue which requires an indefinite break from the game, so Max will now be the captain in both formats.
“We have also agreed with Somerset that Ben Green, who is recovering after a foot operation, should not be considered for the four-day matches, and would be better building up his fitness in some second team games to be ready for our 50-over matches.”
Angus Fraser, Middlesex's Managing Director of Cricket commented:
"The club are delighted for Max, not only for being selected, but for being named as Captain.
"It's great for Middlesex that Max is held in such high regard."
The Under-19s, under the supervision of the head of the EDP Andy Hurry, will meet up for a two-day match against Unicorns in Loughborough on July 21-22, before facing Sri Lanka in the first of the two four-day games at Fenner’s, the University Cricket Ground in Cambridge.
Max Holden (Middlesex, captain), Josh Dell, Zen Malik, Josh Tongue, Ben Twohig, Ollie Westbury (all Worcestershire), George Hankins (Gloucestershire), George Bartlett (Somerset), Ollie Pope (wk), Amar Verdi (both Surrey), George Panayi (Warwickshire), Aaron Beard (Essex), Ed Barnes (Yorkshire), Josh Coughlin (Durham).
Royal London One-Day Series:
Max Holden (Middlesex, captain), Josh Dell, Zen Malik, Josh Tongue, Ben Twohig (all Worcestershire), George Hankins (Gloucestershire), George Bartlett, Dom Bess, Ben Green (all Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey, wk), Aaron Beard (Essex), Ed Barnes (Yorkshire), Tom Moores (wk), Jack Blatherwick (both Nottinghamshire).
July 21-22 v Unicorns (Loughborough)
July 26-29 v Sri Lanka Under-19s (Cambridge)
August 3-6 v Sri Lanka Under-19s (Northampton)
August 10 v Sri Lanka Under-19s (Royal London One-Day Series, Wormsley)
August 13 v Sri Lanka Under-19s (Royal London One-Day Series, Chelmsford)
August 16 v Sri Lanka Under-19s (Royal London One-Day Series, Canterbury)