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County Cricket

Under 24s County Championship team of the season

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

A number of a young players starred across the country in this season’s County Championship. Sam Dyer picked an XI entirely of players aged 24 or under who impressed in this season’s Championship.

Dom Sibley (24)

The top run-scorer across both divisions, Sibley’s 1324 runs at nearly 70 speak for themselves. Five hundreds and a further five fifties were often scored under pressure as Warwickshire, who finished ninth in Division One, were frequently held together by their seemingly immovable opener.

Zak Crawley (21)

While not quite as prolific as Sibley, Crawley’s 820 runs were crucial in securing Kent a comfortable mid-table berth. He also impressed beyond just his runs with an excellent temperament, earning himself a call-up for England’s tour of New Zealand.

Sam Hain (24)

On the rare occasion that Sibley failed, Warwickshire’s innings were often left in the hands of Hain, who ended the season averaging over 50 for his 822 runs. Having previously impressed in white ball, this season has been Hain’s coming of age against the red ball.

George Bartlett (21)

Often playing on turning tracks at Taunton, and as part of a frequently under-performing batting line-up, Bartlett ended the season second in the Somerset batting averages, behind only Tom Abell. His career-best 137 at Guildford came against an attack led by Morne Morkel in testing conditions. Without his contributions Somerset’s title challenge would have failed long before the final hurdle.

Ollie Pope (21)

The most exciting young batsman in the country. Despite missing the majority of the season through injury he still racked up 560 runs at over 80, the highest average of anyone to bat more than three times. Pope’s first-class career average of 58.79 is truly exceptional.

Ryan Higgins (24)

Higgins has played a huge role in Gloucestershire’s promotion with both bat and ball. 958 runs at just shy of 60 is among the best in the country, and 50 wickets at 23.64 would justify selection as a seamer at any county. Combine the two into one player and you have someone who is a dead cert for this team.

Ollie Robinson (20)

A solid season with the bat, scoring 765 runs, Robinson also topped the dismissals table across the tournament, taking 54 catches during his 14 matches.

Ed Barnard (23)

Not the quickest of seamers by any means, Barnard’s canny medium-pace is a staple of the English county game. He took 44 wickets at 22.56 in the season, and scored crucial lower order runs collecting 429 runs at an almost identical average of 22.57.

Saqib Mahmood (22)

While he took only 21 wickets at the less than stellar average of 31.42, Mahmood’s talent and natural ability to extract late movement at good pace is plain to see for all who watch him. It is not surprising that England are already taking an interest.

Matt Parkinson (22)

Probably the most exciting spinner in English cricket, Parkinson’s success in white-ball cricket can easily overshadow a very promising season in red-ball as well. 20 wickets at an average of under 20 is nothing to be sniffed at, and as a young leg-spinner, he’s only going to get better and better.

Sam Cook (22)

A key, though understated, part in Essex’s title-winning side. Cook’s controlled line and length brought him 32 wickets at almost exactly 21, and often set the tone for disciplined bowling performances from his side.

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