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Under 19 World Cup 2022

Plaudits pour in for ‘serious talent’ Jacob Bethell after scintillating Under-19 Cricket World Cup quarter-final knock

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Jacob Bethell’s knock of 88 from just 42 deliveries during England’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup quarter-final win against South Africa has earned him plenty of praise, with experts labelling him a star of the future.

Batting first, South Africa Under-19 were guided by a fine 97 off 88 deliveries by Dewald Brevis, who smashed his fourth successive 50+ score in the competition on Wednesday. Likened to AB de Villiers for his batting style, Brevis hit nine fours and four sixes in his innings, but his efforts could only help South Africa to a total of 209, after leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed ran through the middle-order, picking up 4-48.

In reply, the Tom Prest-led England team got off to a flier, scoring 110 in only 10.4 overs for the first wicket. The run-chase was led by Bethell’s knock, who contributed 88 runs, with his opening partner George Thomas facing 22 balls for 18 runs. Bethell’s quickfire innings, which had 16 fours and two sixes, and was compiled at a strike-rate of 209.52, helped England chase down the target in 31.2 overs, propelling them into the semi-finals of the event. He got to his second consecutive half-century in the Under-19 World Cup in only 20 deliveries.


The teenager, who made his Under-19 debut last year, signed a professional three-year deal with Warwickshire in 2021, making his T20 Blast, One-Day Cup and County Championship debuts. The signing came after impressive performances in age-group cricket that saw him win the Sir John Hobbs Memorial Prize, awarded to the best under-16 cricketer in England, and the Gray-Nicolls Young Cricketer of the Year award.

Born in Barbados, Bethell was touted for big things when he joined Rugby School after winning a scholarship for his cricketing skills. He went on to attend Harrison College, winning the Player of the Tournament award in the Under-15 West Indies competition in 2017 for topping the run-charts. He was signed by the Warwickshire on the insistence of Michael Powell and remains a talent to watch out for, according to Paul Greeham, the club’s high-performance manager.

“Jacob has the potential to achieve a huge amount in his professional career at Warwickshire. He can bat anywhere in the top order, he presents a very attractive slow left-arm spin option and is a natural athlete,” Greeham told ESPNCricinfo. 

Besides being a power-hitter, Bethell is a handy bowler as well, with 11 wickets in eight List A matches, including best figures of 4-36, making him an exciting all-round prospect.

His aggressive batting in the Under-19 World Cup was heavily praised on Twitter.


Michael Vaughan even revealed an interesting tidbit.


Some even wondered if he could have played the recent Ashes!

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