Major England cricket success for Upper Sixth student

Upper Sixth student Will Jacks experienced a different and unique start to the new year compared to his peers as he was selected to play in the England Young Lions cricket squad (Under 19s), which included tours to Dubai and India.

Will describes the journey he's been on in 2017 and the ups and downs of the tours in his own words.

"My start to the year has been slightly different from your usual Upper Sixth student. In September, I was selected as part of an England Young Lions squad (Under 19s), which included a three week tour to Dubai in December. This was a training tour containing a few matches against United Arab Emirates Under 19s as practice, with all 17 players competing for places for an upcoming competitive tour to India in January. The tour was brilliant, my first taste of international sport and one that I will never forget. On a personal note, the tour went well, resulting in a very good phone call from the chief of selectors letting me know of my selection for the India tour.

I left for India on the 25 January for 5 weeks – it was a very different trip to my most recent endeavours with a lot more time spent cramped up in hotel rooms and a lot less time spent on the beach! Having already missed three weeks in December and five more to be missed in India, I was constantly being reminded that I had school work to do through 2 hours of supervised study most days - something I was not always that pleased about! This was a theme for seven other boys with me, so we all struggled through our studies together while the rest of the team were catching up on some sun.

The competitive matches started badly for me in the One-Day series, I was left out for the first two matches, and then scored a duck (0) on debut in the 3rd match. I found it really tough being in a foreign country with people I didn’t know that well, especially whilst I was going through a bad patch. Quite a bit of time spent chatting to the team psychologist for me! Luckily, I kept my place for the remaining two matches of the series and managed to hold my own; a personal positive, while the series was lost 3-1 to the Indians.

We finished the tour with two four-day Test matches, which was a much better series for the whole squad. We managed to secure a draw in the series in unfamiliar conditions and we were all very proud of our achievements. Fortunately, I scored 77 in the second and final test, a bright note to finish an overall positive tour.

I returned home on February 27, went straight back to school and I am now preparing for my A Levels starting soon – so a lot more work to be done!"

5 May 2017

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