Another quartet of Worcestershire CCC youngsters will be reap the benefits of financial support from the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust (BJMT) in 2019.
Ollie Halion, Ollie Walker, Reeve Evitts and Seb Smith are to receive scholarships following successful applications submitted by the County to the BJMT.
They follow on the BJMT support given to Zain Ul-Hassan, Riecko Parker-Cole and Mitchell Stanley (2018), Josh Dell, Zen Malik, Dillon Pennington and Alex Milton (2017) and Ollie Westbury, Ryan Wheldon and Emily Arlott (2016).
The scholarship will help Halion, Walker, Evitts and Smith fund travelling costs to coaching sessions and matches at Blackfinch New Road and Malvern College respectively during the summer and winter months as well as contribute towards the cost of equipment etc.
Brian Johnston’s 47 years of broadcasting, his passion for England and its great national sport of cricket, along with his irrepressible sense of fun, brought him into the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide.
As a memorial his family, together with many eminent members of the cricketing and broadcasting world, set up a trust fund to further the causes that were cl12 months ago ose to Brian’s heart.
The BJMT provides scholarships to young male and female cricketers at county academy and university level who are in genuine financial need.
Worcestershire CCC Academy Coach Elliot Wilson said: “We again give our thanks to the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust for accepting and confirming the applications sent on behalf of the two Ollies, Reeve and Seb.
“This support is always greatly appreciated and is an invaluable assistance to the players involved as it has been in the previous years.
“The trust was set up a number of years ago after Brian passed away to support cricketers who find it quite challenging to be involved in programmes from a financial perspective, from a geographical perspective.
“We submitted application forms for four lads mainly because they have to travel some distances to be involved in the programme.
“It will help them with their costs for travelling, cricket equipment, participation in Worcestershire activities, matches, etc over the season ahead.”
Wilson added: “Ollie Halion is a batter who bowls some medium pace and has been with the pathway from a very early age. He was Under-9s when he got into our Under-11s for the first time and he is someone who has always been a skilful young man.
“He joined our Emerging Players Programme and Sub-Academy Programmes this year and spent the winter training with the full Academy on Monday, Thursday and Sunday and has really benefited from that.
“He is based in Malvern, had played for Malvern Ramblers but now plays for Barnards Green and made his first team debut on Saturday.
“Ollie Walker has already had a bit of publicity this summer for his performance against Yorkshire Academy when he scored 110 not out as a 14-year-old against an older and strong side.
“He scored a similar amount of runs as Jack Haynes did at a similar age, Under-11, Under-12, Under-13s. He lives up at Beacon and has been training with us for a number of years and comes down to train with us two or three times a week.
“He is a top order batsman but also bowls some seam up.
“Reeve Evitts is on the full Academy and is based in Burton and plays for the same club side as George Scrimshaw – Dunstall CC – and again is making a huge effort to commit to our programme by travelling significant distances.
“He comes down one night a week and all-day Sunday and loves it, is fully involved. He is a proper all-rounder and at that stage are not sure whether he will be a batsman who bowls or a bowler who bats but he came to prominence for his fast bowling and is an exciting cricketer.
“Seb Smith, a lad from Stoke, Hartshill Cricket Club, and he has come down all winter on a Thursday night and al-day Sunday without any complaints and with a smile on his face.
“He is a left arm spinner, who naturally bowls it quite well, and we will see how he goes over the next couple of weeks.
“All four of the lads will benefit from the BJMT and being able to engage with the Academy-pathway programme as much as possible will only be of benefit to them.”