Notts Youngsters Ready
To Take On The World
Featured News | 21st May 2012
The promising Nottinghamshire trio of Sam Kelsall, Sam Wood and Brett Hutton are all hoping to conquer the world with England U19s in Australia later this summer and they continued their build-up to the World Cup by helping Notts Academy beat Welbeck Colliery by eight wickets in the Premier League at Lady Bay.
Having only recently returned from playing for England in a Quadrangular Series in Australia, where they lost to India in the semi-finals, they were all given clearance by the ECB to play for Notts and Kelsall and Wood promptly played central roles in the win.
Wood took three wickets for only 17 runs as Welbeck were bowled out for 138 and right-hander Kelsall then hit 30 off 61 balls as Notts cruised to victory inside 34 overs.
Coach Paul Johnson believes all three of the youngsters will shine on the world stage in August.
"Sam has done very well," he said. "His batting looks to have kicked on again from last year. In terms of maturity and technique and all aspects of his game, he's mentally tougher.
"His wicket-keeping has improved too because he's been given more and more opportunities to do that.
"We haven't got many concerns about Sam.
"England consider Sam Wood to be one of their best spin options. We only changed him from a seamer to a spinner two or three years ago and he gets the ball into good areas.
"They have been batting him down the order at six or seven and we certainly consider him to be a top-five batter and that was reiterated to us last week when he got 141 in the seconds.
"It proves he can bat right at the top and hopefully showed England his worth a little bit more.
"That innings will certainly help his confidence because I think he was a little bit unsure of his role, whether he was a batter who bowled or a bowler who batted.
"We consider him a genuine all-rounder to the degree where if he was with us for the full season he could easily push into the first team.
"Brett Hutton has been struggling for rhythm and form since he's been back because the outfield has been so wet and he's quite heavy-footed into the crease, but he's getting better and better.
"If he can make himself into more of an all-rounder he will stand a really good chance of playing in the World Cup squad because batting at seven and eight he can be really devastating.
"We've very pleased with all three of them and I think the ECB are happy with their improvement through the winter and hopefully they will kick on and be part of a successful World Cup.
"Whether they'll be able to fulfil team potential, we'll have to wait and see because I think it's a very strong competition.
"All in all, I think they are very hopeful for a good tournament.
"They have all come through our system. Brett and Woody have come through from U11s and Sam has been with us from 13. He's a Staffordshire lad, but he's come through our academy which virtually makes him one of ours."
Kelsall, Wood and Hutton could also be joined in the World Cup squad by team-mate Tom Rowe, who scored 23 against Welbeck, because he has been called up the England U19s Twenty20 squad.
"There is the potential for him to break in, so at the minute, it's three and it could be four. If Tom has an outstanding Twenty20 and we're hopeful he can impress, we might have another one," said Johnson. "We're proud of their achievements so far and hopefully we'll be even prouder when they get back."
Notts have now won three of their opening five matches of the summer in the Premier League, having already beaten Wollaton by five wickets and Worksop by eight wickets before facing Welbeck. They have only endured one defeat and that was to reigning champions Clifton.
Hassan Azad was their highest scorer against Welbeck, hitting an unbeaten 53 off 109 balls (four 4s), as Notts finished on 139-2, with Kyle Francis taking the wickets of Rowe and Kelsall.
Scott Elstone, who will be 12th man for England when they play a Test against West Indies at Trent Bridge later this week, also took four wickets for just 24 runs.
"We expect him to do well in this form of cricket," said Johnson.
Guy Darwin and Jonny Loates both scored 39 runs for Welbeck, who are bottom of the Premier League.
Notts are currently in second place in the table, 18 points behind early leaders Cuckney, who have four victories so far this season against Mansfield Hosiery Mills, Clifton, Welbeck and Kimberley Institute, and Johnson is confident they can continue to do well.
"We came into the season believing a top-six to eight finish was realistic," he said. "It's been a false start because a lot of matches have been rained out. We might do a little bit better than that."
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