Worcestershire Assistant Coach Matt Mason believes “higher honours are waiting” for Ed Barnard whose statistics this season confirm him as one of the leading all-rounders in the Specsavers County Championship.
Barnard has scored 505 runs batting primarily at number seven or eight and also taken 43 wickets and played a leading role in the County’s push for promotion
Only Kent’s Darren Stevens (673 runs and 57 wickets), Sussex’s Jofra Archer (537 runs and 58 wickets) and Lancashire’s Ryan McLaren (549 runs and 45 wickets) have better all-round statistics than Barnard.
He represented England at Under-19 level – along with County team-mate Joe Clarke – and were part of the squad which reached the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
But Mason is confident the 21-year-old can earn more recognition with his country.
He said: “I think the term ‘all-rounder’ gets thrown around a lot – but he really is because not only can he do both disciplines, and field really well, but he can also play different tempos of the game.
“He can play different formats of the game. He is the complete package.
“That’s why I’m sure there are higher honours waiting for him – but there are things he will need to do before that happens.
“I know his work ethic is terrific and he will make sure he does everything he can to make sure that happens.
“He is a very good thinker of the game, is a very unflappable character so he has got all the attributes.”
Barnard broke into the senior side at New Road mid-way through the 2015 season – at approximately the same time as Clarke – and the pair have been virtual ever presents since that initial breakthrough.
Mason said: “Barny has developed every year which is what you want to see in young players. You want to see that progression.
“When you think he is still a very young player, he has made huge strides, not just with the ball but with the bat.
“I think he can really push on and become a proper middle order player and a very useful bowler for the County.
“He would admit his red ball cricket has been fine. The T20 campaign probably didn’t go quite as well as he would have liked.
“But Barny, being the character he is, would recognise that and will want to work hard this winter.”