Worcestershire duo Jack Haynes and Adam Finch have been included in the England Under-19 squad for the two-Test series against South Africa next month.
The pair continue the County’s proud tradition of having players selected at this level in recent years.
Finch has already played at Under-19 level and featured in three matches during this winter’s ICC World Cup in New Zealand.
But it is a first call-up for Haynes which completes a memorable few days for the youngster.
He signed his first professional contract and made his senior debut in yesterday’s List A encounter against West Indies A at Blackfinch New Road.
Worcestershire had six players chosen in 2016 in Ollie Westbury, Zen Malik, Josh Dell, Ben Twohig, Josh Tongue and George Scrimshaw.
Tongue and Finch were called up last summer and then Dillon Pennington and Finch were part of the World Cup squad.
Academy Coach Elliot Wilson confirmed: “Two of the current Academy pros have been selected to play in the Test match series this summer against the South Africans – Jack Haynes and Adam Finch.
“They were informed over the weekend by Jon Lewis, the Under-19 head coach that they would be involved in that series.
“The One-Day squad will be selected in early July and I’m sure they will be hope to be involved in that as well.
“We keep getting people asked to play which is really flattering and to get those two selected has been fantastic to see.
“Adam played in the one-day series (against India) last summer and was selected for the World Cup this winter and came back with some very positive experiences and feedback from the coaching team about the contribution he had made during the World Cup.
“Really pleased for him to have more exposure to that environment over the next month. Fingers crossed he will get a lot out of the three weeks being away with the Under-19s and he will come back to us in a better place to push for first team recognition here at New Road.
“He has signed a full-time deal with us from October 1. It was his last school exam yesterday and then he is pretty much with us for the rest of the summer and into the winter and for next year.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, and I don’t have any real doubts, that the lad is going to go from strength to strength. He is such a good character.
“He is a very late developer. Came to the game a bit later in terms of being serious about it and after a little bit of direction-TLC (tender loving care)-guidance he has turned himself hopefully into a very impressive young cricketer.
“Jack has another year at school. He has performed to a level that justifies him being involved with some of his performances in our second team.
“Secondly, he is eligible for the next World Cup (2019-2020 winter) and he has been identified from an early age as someone of high potential for the future.
“It has been rightly recognised this week with the opportunity to play (against West Indies A), his first contract and recognition with the Under-19s).”
Tom Lammonby has been appointed as captain, an 18-year-old all-rounder from Devon who joined the Somerset Academy in 2015, and was England’s man of the series in last summer’s home Royal London Under-19s series against India at the age of 17 – only to be ruled out of the ICC Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year when he suffered a broken hand in practice.
He will be joined in the squad by Somerset team-mate Tom Banton, one of six members of the World Cup squad who will continue with the Under-19s this summer – along with Warwickshire batsman Liam Banks, Worcestershire seamer Adam Finch, and the Middlesex trio Ethan Bamber, Luke Hollman and wicketkeeper Jack Davies.
Three other members of the World Cup squad – Pennington, Surrey all-rounder Will Jacks and Yorkshire’s Harry Brook, who was the captain in New Zealand – have not been selected despite remaining eligible, to allow them to continue gaining further senior experience with their counties.
Jon Lewis, for whom this will be a first series as head coach of the Young Lions programme after he was initially appointed for the World Cup, said: “I’ve never seen the Under-19s play at Test level, and for all of us the chance to test ourselves against the best young players from South Africa is a really exciting one.”
England will announce a separate squad early in July for the three-match Royal London One-Day Series against South Africa that follows, with the first game at the Emirates Riverside on July 23 being televised live on Sky Sports, followed by matches at South Northumberland CC and Scarborough.
Lewis will be joined for both the four-day and one-day matches by two more former England cricketers who are now developing their coaching careers in county cricket, Mal Loye and Min Patel, as batting and spin-bowling coaches respectively.
Neil Killeen, the former Durham seamer, continues as fast-bowling coach and Andy Mitchell of Middlesex will be the strength and conditioning coach.
The England Under-19 selectors – Lewis, David Graveney and John Abrahams – have named nine more players to face the South Africans in their warm-up match for the series, against an Invitational XI in Loughborough on July 3-4 – when England will face the Unicorns in a two-day match.
England Under-19s squad
Tom Lammonby (Somerset, captain)
Ethan Bamber (Middlesex)
Liam Banks (Warwickshire)
Tom Banton (Somerset)
Jack Davies (Middlesex)
Adam Finch (Worcestershire)
Alfie Gleadall (Derbyshire)
Jack Haynes (Worcestershire)
Luke Hollman (Middlesex)
Jack Plom (Essex)
Hamidullah Qadri (Derbyshire)
Oli Robinson (Kent)
Harrison Ward (Sussex)
Greg Willows (Gloucestershire)
July 3-4 v Unicorns (Loughborough)
July 8-11 – first “Youth Test” v South Africa Under-19s (Scarborough)
July 16-19 – second “Youth Test” v South Africa Under-19s (Emirates Riverside)
*A separate England Under-19s squad will be named in early July for the three-match Royal London One-Day Series against South Africa A with games at Emirates Riverside (July 23, live on Sky Sports), South Northumberland CC (July 26) and Scarborough (July 29).
Selected for an Invitational XI to play South Africa Under-19s at Loughborough, July 3-4
Ben Allison (Essex), Ben Charlesworth (Gloucestershire), Jordan Cook (Nottinghamshire), Ed Fluck (Lancashire), George Lavelle (Lancashire), Will Sheffield (Sussex), Jamie Smith (Surrey), Kaz
Szymanski (Glamorgan), Rob Yates (Warwickshire)