Harry Brook, the Yorkshire batsman, has been appointed captain of a 15-man England squad for the Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand which starts next month.
Brook, who played for Yorkshire six times in his debut season in 2017, carries an onerous responsibility as a World Cup skipper – even allowing for the relative lack of coverage of age group cricket – during a period when England’s behaviour is permanently under scrutiny.
England have not won the trophy since 1998 and have failed to reach a final since that solitary success, their best performance being a third-place finish in 2014 under the captaincy of Will Rhodes.
Of that 2014 side that lost narrowly to Pakistan in the semi-final, only Ben Duckett has gone on to represent England – and the less said about that at the moment the better.
The squad includes four players from Middlesex – Savin Perera, Luke Hollman, Ethan Bamber and wicketkeeper Jack Davies – and three from Somerset – Tom Lammonby, Fin Trenouth and another wicketkeeper, Tom Banton.
“The players have shown with their performances in the Tri-Series in South Africa over the last couple of weeks that they can travel with plenty of optimism,” said David Graveney, a member of the Under-19s selection panel with John Abrahams and Jon Lewis, who will be head coach for the World Cup.
Lewis will be assisted by Jonathan Trott as batting coach, Neil Killeen as fast bowling coach, and Chris Taylor as fielding coach – his last tournament as the ECB’s fielding lead before joining Surrey.
England Under-19s contest the tournament without a full-time coach after Andy Hurry resigned to take the head coach’s role at Somerset. The position will not be filled until after the tournament.
Squad: Harry Brook (Yorkshire, captain), Ethan Bamber (Middlesex), Liam Banks (Warwickshire), Tom Banton (Somerset, wk), Jack Davies (Middlesex, wk), Adam Finch (Worcestershire), Luke Hollman (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Tom Lammonby (Somerset), Dillon Pennington (Worcestershire), Savin Perera (Middlesex), Prem Sisodiya (Glamorgan), Tom Scriven (Hampshire), Fin Trenouth (Somerset), Roman Walker (Glamorgan).
Warm-up matches: January 9: Ireland (Christchurch); January 11: Sri Lanka (Lincoln).
World Cup group matches: January 15: Namibia (Queenstown); January 18: Bangladesh (Queenstown); January 20: Canada (Queenstown).