Ed will spend the next three weeks in the UAE competing in a Tri Series against the Pakistan and UAE Under-19 teams – preparation for the Under 19s World Cup in the UAE in February.
Ed, who has just turned 18, has been part of the England Development Programme for the last three years and has recently signed a two-year contract with Worcestershire CC. Last winter he toured with the England Under-19s in South Africa – memorable in particular for his ‘Boys’ Own’ dream performance in the first Test. When he came in to bat on the first day, England were deep in trouble in their first innings on 89 for 5. By the end of the day, Ed had scored his first international century and was unbeaten on 107. He finished on Day 2 with a score of 114 off 294 balls, including 12 fours, and England eventually won the Test by 107 runs. Ed even took the final catch to secure England’s victory - and he was duly named Man of the Match.
After a frustrating summer this year, when he had to miss 12 weeks of the cricket season due to a back injury, Ed was delighted to return to the game in style in August, captaining England’s Under-17 side in two of their one-day international games against Sri Lanka. He spent the October half-term exeat on an England Under-19 batting camp in Sri Lanka and hopes to return to bowling by the end of the UAE tour.
It will not all be cricket in the UAE, however. Ed will be sitting A levels in Geography, Business Studies and PE next summer, and the ECB are as keen as his teachers to ensure that his exam results are not compromised by his international cricket commitments. So as part of the England Development Programme’s ‘Dual Aspirations’ scheme, Ed and the six or seven other squad members who are still at school will be spending 25 hours in supervised study time.
Ed returns to the UK just in time for Christmas. In the meantime, many at the School will be following his fortunes and those of the England Under-19 squad every bit as keenly as those of the England senior team in Australia.