Gloucestershire pair Hamdi Saleem (Downend) and Will Naish (Frocester) have been selected to represent the South and West at the prestigious ESCA (English Schools Cricket Association) Under 15s Bunbury Cricket Festival.
Naish – who also played in 2017 – has been named as captain for the festival which will be held at Millfield School, Somerset from August 5-10.
It will feature matches against the three other regions; the Midlands, London and East and the North. By taking part the pair will follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in English cricket including current England Test captain Joe Root and and record Test run scorer Alastair Cook.
Saleem, a right arm fast bowler, is currently the top wicket-taker in his Gloucestershire age group with eight wickets at 19.88 including a best of 4-41 v Berkshire. Naish, a right arm seamer and top order batsman has been returning from injury to make a run-a-ball 82 in the same game.
Gloucestershire head of talent pathway Tim Hancock said:
“It is great to see two Gloucestershire lads in the squad and my congratulations go to both Will and Hamdi. They both work hard at their cricket and deserve this opportunity.
“Will is a genuine allrounder, physically strong and combines this with a good character. This is obviously something the selectors picked up on at last year’s festival year and it is a great honour for him to be named as captain.
“Hamdi is a quiet lad but underneath that lies a fierce determination. He is a bowler with genuine pace and has developed control and consistency to go with this in recent years. It will be a great experience for them both.”
For the full 2018 squad please see below:
Mo Abbas (Hampshire)
Jamie Baird (w) (Somerset
Sonny Baker (Devon)
Ben Beaumont (Devon)
James Coles (Oxfordshire)
George Langston (Hampshire)
Kamran Khanna (Berkshire)
Will Naish (c) (Gloucestershire)
Harry Petrie (Buckinghamshire)
Tom Prest (Hampshire)
Hamdi Saleem (Gloucestershire)
Henry Smeed (Somerset)
Zeph Wells (Isle of Wight)