Ed Barnard says he would “take it with both hands” if he received further international recognition but the Worcestershire all-rounder is avoiding needless pressure by not putting any timescales on such ambitions.
The former England Under-19s all-rounder had a 2017 season to remember with bat and ball and was voted the Supporters’ Association Player Of The Year and polled 50 per cent of the votes.
Joe Clarke and Josh Tongue have tasted England Lions selection this winter and it goes without saying that Barnard would like to follow in their footsteps.
But his focus is concentrating on continuing to produce the goods at Blackfinch New Road – including attempting to add a couple of yards of pace to his bowling this winter.
Barnard, who played in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup, said: “Is further international honours a target? I think so. I’ve not really thought it about. I’d like to do it and if the chance comes along, I’ll take it with both hands.
“At the minute, I’m focused on how I am going to do for Worcestershire this season and if that leads to further things, then that’s great.
“I’m just really focused on doing well for Worcestershire, keeping us in Division One and then who knows? Take it as it comes really.
“I’m not putting any timescales on anything. That would put pressure on that is not needed really. But obviously (international recognition) that is my aim.”
Barnard and his team-mates are now back working in the nets at Malvern College after the pre-Christmas focus on strengthening and conditioning work.
He said: “It is now these couple of months about the more technical stuff in the cricket.
“The last couple of months has been about putting those foundations in place so, when I do the technical stuff, I’ve then got the core strength there to be able to use it.
“Is it a technical thing to get extra pace or rhythm or a strength thing? It will be a bit of both. Obviously, the gym work is going to help, getting a bit stronger and bigger.
“But there are also a couple of aspects of bowling we can work on and tweak a little bit just to gain those extra yards I’m hoping for.”