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Adam Ball: Kent's special talent

THE Bexley all-rounder Adam Ball, 16, has been called up by England for next month's Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand to replace Calum Haggett, of Somerset, who withdrew on medical advice.

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Ball, a Kent Academy left-armer already in the ECB fast-bowling elite group, scored a 118-ball century for Bexley in the Kent League last July, an achievement at Tunbridge Wells that marked him out as a player of special promise at such a young age. The Beths Grammar School pupil was a deserved winner of the league's Young Cricketer of the Year award at the end of the season.

The England Under-19 squad, captained by the Yorkshire off-spinner Azeem Rafiq, are due to leave on Jan 1 for a week acclimatising in Wellington before reporting to Christchurch for the start of the World Cup. England play two warm-up matches against Papua New Guinea Under-19 on Jan 11 and New Zealand Under-19 on Jan 12.

Englandís first match in the group stages will be against Hong Kong at Lincoln University on Jan 16, followed by Afghanistan at Queen Elizabeth II Park in New Brighton on Jan 18 and by the holders India at Lincoln on Jan 20. The top two teams in each group will progress to the quarter-finals. The final will be held at Lincoln on Jan 30.

England Under-19 Squad

Adam Ball                Kent

Michael Bates          Hampshire

Paul Best               Warwickshire

Danny Briggs           Hampshire

Nathan Buck            Leicestershire

Jos Buttler              Somerset

Chris Dent              Gloucestershire

Matthew Dunn         Surrey

Ateeq Javid            Warwickshire

Jack Manuel           Worcestershire

David Payne           Gloucestershire

Azeem Rafiq           Yorkshire, capt

Joe Root               Yorkshire

Ben Stokes            Durham

James Vince          Hampshire

Posted by Charlie Randall
22/12/2009 14:35:08
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