[lead]Some of the county’s most promising young players will test their skills in Sri Lanka as part of a tour with the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB).[/lead]
The GCB is taking both a boys Under 18 and a girls Under 17 squad out for a 12 day trip from February 6 to 18.
During the tour – which is the second the Board has run through its official travel partner Lion Sports Travel – both squads will both play in five matches spread across Colombo, Galle and Kandy.
GCB chief executive Steve Silk said: “
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The 2016 tour was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved – both on and off the pitch – and we are delighted to be able to provide the same opportunity for another 29 of our young cricketers.
“By partnering with Lions Sports Travel again we know that our tour party will receive first class service and hospitality, allowing them to maximize their enjoyment of Sri Lanka as a country and embrace the challenges they will come across on the field of play.”
The boys’ squad will be led by Gloucestershire head of talent pathway Tim Hancock. It is made up of 15 players including Olly and Tom Price, Dominic Goodman and Joe Dryell who are all part of the Gloucestershire Academy. The players are all aged between 16 and 18 and made up the core of the Gloucestershire Under 17 team that reached the ECB one-day semi-finals last summer.
Tim said: “It is a time in their cricketing life when I think they will fully appreciate the challenges and experiences both on and off the field. They are a good set of lads and I think they will be pretty competitive out there.
“The main challenge is the climate. Going from a cold winter into hot and humid conditions is tough – particularly in the first few games. Hopefully they will respect the challenge and find ways to overcome it.
“We know from touring there last time that there are a lot of good cricketers out there and the games will be very competitive.”
GCB women and girls officer Lisa Pagett takes a 14-strong girls squad that ranges in age from 14 to 17. The youngest member is legspinning allrounder Bea Ellis from Charlton Kings who will turn 14 a month before going to Sri Lanka. The squad also includes Newent’s Chloe Skelton, who made her debut for Gloucestershire Women last year and a number of her Gloucestershire Under 17 team mates.
Lisa Pagett said: “The group we are taking feature a mixture of Under 17 and Under 15 girls who have all have shown commitment to their cricket and an exemplary attitude in representing Gloucestershire.
“Having been on the last tour to Sri Lanka in 2016, I know the girls will benefit hugely from the experience. The chance to tour overseas presents a lot of new challenges which creates a great environment for player development. Things like learning how to manage nutrition and hydration, adapting to new conditions and working effectively as a team will all play a huge part in this trip and help them in their cricket going forward.”
As in 2016 the players will contribute to the cost of their trip through a fundraising campaign. Details of this are due to be released shortly. The GCB is also currently looking for a tour sponsor to help cover the costs of things like clothing. If you are interested in finding out more or know a company who might be, please email email@example.com
The two touring parties will be accompanied by an 18-strong supporters group made up of parents. In addition to the cricket, players and supporters will have the chance to sample some of the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer including city tours and a visit to an elephant orphanage
In addition to Steve, Tim and Lisa, the squads will be assisted by coaches Luke Sellers and Leah Morrison.
|Kiran Chakraborty||Corse & Staunton|
|Jack Clement||Hatherley & Reddings|
|Oliver Price||Great & Little Tew|
|Tom Price||Great & Little Tew|
|Millie Ashford||Corse & Staunton|
|Ella Budd||Backwell Flax Bourton|
|Bea Ellis||Charlton Kings|