Botes earns England Call

CHESHIRE all-rounder Louis Botes will make his international debut in March after earning a call-up to represent an England Under 16 representative side.

Botes, who plays for New Brighton first eleven in the Liverpool & District Competition Premier League, said it was a "huge honour" to be part of the David English Bunbury Tour to Sri Lanka, which is supported by the ECB.

The touring party is comprised of the most talented Under 16 players in the country, selected following last summer's Bunbury Festival in which Botes and three other Cheshire players - Harry Newton, George Balderson and Dan Cooke - all represented the North of England.

Botes progressed to play in the annual 'Best of Bunbury' fixture, taking seven wickets in a single innings for the North/Midlands side to grab the attention of the national selectors.

"I was extremely happy to be selected for the tour Sri Lanka," Botes told Wheatsheaf World.

"It's a huge honour and am really looking forward to the Tour and the next few months ahead.

"It will be my first overseas tour, and I am expecting to encounter tough opposition, different wickets and climate which will be challenging but a fantastic experience and will further improve me as a player."

News of his selection for the Bunbury Tour capped a superb 2016 for Botes, whose 19 wickets and 200 runs for Cheshire Under 15s also earned him an EPP Excellence Tier 1 contract with neighbouring first class county Lancashire.

And Botes now has his sights set on earning full Academy status at Old Trafford as he bids to forge a future for himself in the professional game.

"One of my aims for the year ahead is to try to get an Academy place at a first class county," he said.

"But it's one step at a time, and first I must look to further develop my cricketing skills, and to enjoy every aspect of the game.

"I want to learn from others around me, not only the players and coaches, but other cricket enthusiasts who can improve me as a cricketer as a whole."

Louis added: "I would love to bowl well out in Sri Lanka and enjoy the whole experience, and back home I want to cement my place in the first team at New Brighton and continue to play Premier League cricket."

Botes is one of just three players from the Northern Counties to be included in the Bunbury Tour, alongside Hamidullah Qadri of Derbyshire and Jack Morley of Lancashire.

The touring party depart for Colombo on March 23rd, and play four limited overs matches against a Sri Lanka X1 before returning on April 2nd.