New record for ex West boy
James Hildreth wrote his name into the record books at Taunton by recording the earliest triple-century in an English season. In a neat twist the previous record-holder had been his captain in this match, Justin Langer, who scored 315 on April 20, 2007. Another who will remember this day was Hildreth's partner, the wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter, who scored an impressive maiden first-class century as the match ended in a predictable high-scoring draw.
Danny makes first class debut aged just 18.
Joss bursts onto the 1st class scene!
Regional players who have turned professional
West Region Surrey and England
Adam Harrison is the younger brother of Glamorgan bowler David Harrison, and like his brother he is a promising seamer. He has played for England Under 19, playing in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, and made his Glamorgan debut in 2005. When he debuted against Sussex in a Glamorgan team containing his brother David they became the first brothers to play for Glamorgan since Alan and Eifion Jones in 1983. In 2006 Harrison played just once for the first-team.
With a game based on style, timing and immense powers of concentration, Habib, once rejected by Middlesex, became a heavy runscorer in the Leicestershire top order. Primarily a front-foot player with a fluent straight-drive, he can cut too and has the knack of succeeding when his team needs him most - his 114 in the decider at The Oval in 1998 helped Leicestershire win the Championship. Habib's two Tests for England, against New Zealand in 1999, exposed gaps in his technique (not to mention between bat and pad) and less-than-nifty footwork, but his domestic form remained prolific - and he has shone in his brief career with England A. And county coach Jack Birkenshaw continues to sing his praises whenever he gets the chance. However, he left at the end of 2001 for Essex to advance his career, where he averaged a lukewarm 38 in three seasons before being released in October 2004. After struggling to find another county he surprisingly agreed to return to Leicester although again found it tough to hold down a regular spot. He was slowly pushed aside by younger players and opted to retire at the end of the 2006 season. He was appointed Hong Kong's coach, on a three-year contract, in October 2007.
Another graduate of Millfield School, Arul Suppiah has already shone for Somerset in his short period at the club. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Suppiah moved to England to further his career and receive one of the best educations in the country. He has gradually established himself in the Championship side in recent seasons and has also been a regular member of Somerset's Twenty20 Cup side.
Ben Wright was handed his first representative honours when he was selected for the England Under-19 tour of Bangladesh. As with many of the top order, he struggled to come to terms with the conditions, but did make a promising 47 against Sri Lanka. He had made his second-team debut for Glamorgan towards the end of the 2004 season, and became a regular fixture in 2005 but was unable to force his way into the first XI. He has also represented Wales Minor Counties, and struck a match-winning 84 against a strong Cheshire side in the MCCA Knock-out trophy in 2005. He made 72 on his Glamorgan debut in 2006.
Carl Gazzard established himself behind the stumps in 2005 after the retirement of the veteran Rob Turner. Whilst his keeping has shown signs of promise, he must improve his batting to justify his place in the team in this age of batsmen-wicketkeepers. In 2006 he scored just 305 runs from 13 Championship games, a poor return for a player with his ability, and was dropped for the youngster Sam Spurway for the final few matches.
Born in Devon, reared in Bristol and an England A tourist before he had played a first-class game, Read has established himself as the tidiest gloveman in English cricket, although like Jack Russell before him, such an accolade is no longer a guarantee of one's selection. A back-foot fighter with a productive whip-pull, he bats as high as No. 6 in the Nottinghamshire middle order, and was picked by England against New Zealand in 1999, infamously ducking into a Chris Cairns slower ball. He made the one-day team that winter in South Africa and, despite a below-par performance behind the stumps, showed composure with the bat, memorably mowing Shaun Pollock for six to reignite a run-chase. Read lost ground after his debut, dropping behind Paul Nixon and then James Foster in the race to become England's next keeper, but he was a more rounded player by the time Alec Stewart finally hung up his gloves in 2003. He duly returned to the top of the pile, and after an immaculate time behind the stumps in the Caribbean, he was controversially dropped in favour of Geraint Jones, the better batsman. Two months later, and Read had been axed from the one-day side as well, despite some combative performances low down the order. He remained on the fringes of the team, but having produced an impressive unbeaten 150 for England A against the Pakistanis in July 2006, he finally convinced the management that was due another chance. A brisk 55 in his comeback Test against Pakistan, in the 3rd Test at Headingley, demonstrated a cricketer with far greater confidence in himself than in his youth. Ina Duncan Fletcher-inspired see-saw, he was again left out for the 2006-07 Ashes before Jones's loss of form meant he was recalled for the last two Tests. But Nixon edged him out for the CB Series that followed, and the emergence of Peter Moores as Fletcher's successor and the selection of Matt Prior meant Read slipped gently down the list of keepers.
David Roberts Mullion Cornwall
NBC Denis Compton Award 1997
West Region and Northamptonshire
Dean Cosker made his Glamorgan debut against Lancashire at Cardiff in 1996 within a few months of completing his A-levels. Born in Dorset of Welsh parents, the spinner was widely regarded to have a bright future in the professional game and had already represented England at Under-19 level. He toured with England A in 1997-98 and 1998-99, but has never materialised into the player he threatened to be as a youngster. He was capped by Glamorgan in 2000, but has proved to be much more effective player in the one-day format, playing a key part in Glamorgan's success in the National League in 2002 and 2004 with his tight bowling and exceptional fielding from backward point. Cosker also admits to being a fan of Bananarama.
Gareth Andrew is a former England Under-19 seamer who has yet to translate this early promise into success on the county circuit. While he did not feature in first-class cricket in 2006, Andrew featured regularly in Somerset's one-day side. At the end of the 2007 season, he transferred to Worcestershire on a two-year deal.
Glamorgan have another Simon Jones in the making. Tall, fast and with the ability to swing the ball away and with reverse-swing, Huw Waters could one day emulate his team-mate and play for the full England side. For now, though, he will concentrate on developing his game for England's Under-19s and for his county, for whom he has played seven first-class games and taken 11 wickets.
Waters missed the first half of England under-19s' 2005 tour of Bangladesh with a wrist injury, but joined them for the last five matches where he performed creditably, taking wickets regularly at a good economy rate. Selection for the Under-19 World Cup, which starts in February, duly followed.
Strong and fit, James Harris is an allrounder, whose strength is his seam bowling, who was the youngest person to appear for Glamorgan 2nd XI when he turned out in 2005 at the age of 14 years and 353 days, and a month later he was the youngest to appear for Wales Minor Counties, taking 3 for 48 against Netherlands. In 2006 he signed a contract with Glamorgan despite being 15, and in the same year captained England Under-16s. He made his debut aged just 16 and a few weeks later became the first 17-year-old to take a seven wicket haul in the Championship. He was rewarded for his promising debut season with a trip to India in late 2007 as part of the England Performance Programme squad, and was part of the England squad for the Under-19 World Cup in 2008.
James Adams, a talented middle-order batsman, made his debut for Hampshire in 2002 having represented England at Under-15 and Under-19 level. He was named Hampshire Young Player of the Year for 1998, and struck his maiden first-class hundred for Loughborough University, whom he captained, in 2003. He was part of the successful 2005 squad which lifted the C&G Trophy and finished second in Division One of the County Championship. In 2006, he anchored Hampshire's surprise win over Yorkshire in a fine unbeaten 168, to chase down 404 at Headingley
For any batsman, Taunton is the ideal place to launch a career. There was much expected of James Hildreth from age-group level, but his debut knock of 101 off 113 against a Durham attack including Shoaib Akhtar. However, Hildreth didn't really kick-on from that dream start and threatened to become one of the county game's frustrating talents.
He hails from that solid breeding ground of first-class cricketers, Millfield School, where he as part of the first XI for four years. His progression continued through England youth sides at all levels including the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2003-04. He ended his age-group career with 210 in the final Test against Bangladesh in 2004 and had a cameo role of 38 off 24 balls when Somerset famously chased down 343 to beat the touring Australians in 2005.
Justin Langer, who became his captain at Taunton, rated him as "an extraordinary talent" and Australians don't throw around such comments without good reason. Still, though, potential wasn't translated into consistent results and his average lingered in the 30s rather than the 40s. His opening innings of the 2009 season, again on a batting paradise at Taunton, suggested the best was still to come as he took Warwickshire for an unbeaten 303 - the earliest triple century in an English season.
Hildreth is a talented allround sportsman and played hockey for the West of England, tennis and squash for the South of England, rugby for Millfield and soccer for Luton Town as a teenager.
Keith Parsons was Somerset through and through, born and educated in Taunton and on the Somerset books from an early age. He represented England Schools at U-15 and U-19 level before making his Somerset debut in 1992 when identical twin Kevin was also on the staff. The following year he was named as the county's Young Player of the Year and was a virtual ever-present since. In 2000 he made 193 against the touring West Indies produced his career-best first-class bowling figures for 5 for 13 against Lancashire. The following summer he made 60 off 52 balls in the C&G final and in 2005 was Somerset's leading run-scorer in the National League as well as being in all matches in the successful Twenty20 Cup campaign. However, his opportunities at the club became increasingly limited, and he wasn't picked throughout 2008 - the catalyst which prompted his retirement after a 16-year career. He pledged to represent Cornwall in the Minor Counties for 2009.
Kevin Latouf is a South African born batsman who has also played for England Under-19s. He made his one-day debut for Hamphire in 2005, and hit 25 off just 14 balls as Hampshire completed a record run chase by achieving their target of 359 to beat Surrey at The Oval to reach the semi-finals of the C&G Trophy. He then played in the C&G final at Lord's, collecting a winners medal as Hampshire defeated Warwickshire by 18 runs. He made his Championship debut in 2006, but faces a hard task establishing himself in their top-order in coming seasons
A left-arm spinner with a bright future, Liam Dawson has already attracted positive reviews from Shane Warne, his county captain, who believes Dawson can develop into an allrounder. So far, his left-arm spin has been his primary role and earned him England Under-19 selection as a 16-year-old for the tour of Malaysia in 2006-07. He impressed the following summer against Pakistan, where his left-arm collected wickets and maintained control during the two-Test series. He was selected for England's Under-19 World Cup squad in 2008.
There is something biblical about Marcus Trescothick's career: seven years of plenty as a schoolboy, seven years of famine when he reached the Somerset 1st XI. And lo, it came to pass in 1999 that he batted on a pacy pitch at Taunton against Glamorgan while Duncan Fletcher was their coach, and made a storming 167, with five sixes, when the next-best score was 50. When England needed a stand-in one-day opener in 2000, Fletcher remembered Trescothick. He took to international cricket like a duck to a TV screen. A true opener, he formed a habit of starting a series well with a mixture of expert leaves, crisp cover-drives, spanking pulls and fearless slog-sweeps. Hefty, knock-kneed and genial, he is described by Nasser Hussain as a left-handed Gooch, but his ease on the big stage and his blazing one-day strokeplay are just as reminiscent of David Gower. His first four England hundreds came in a losing cause, confirming his ability to keep his head while all around are losing theirs. Opening in Tests with Mike Atherton, Trescothick acquired the air of a senior player as if by osmosis - he joined the management committee on his first tour. All that stands between him and the top drawer is a tendency to get out when well set, to make a breezy 20 or 30. He seemed to have conquered this with a domineering home season in 2002, but it reappeared - like so many English frailties - as soon as the team landed in Australia. Trescothick endured fluctuating fortunes over the next couple of seasons. He showed glimpses of his blazing best against South Africa in 2003, when he capped his season with a determined 219 (and 69 not out) in the astonishing series-levelling victory at The Oval, but his form slid away drastically in the Caribbean that winter. The selectors never lost faith with him, and having stood in as captain for the first Test of the 2004 season, Trescothick cracked a pair of hundreds against West Indies at Edgbaston. At Johannesburg in 2004-05, he set up England's series victory with a brutal 180 on the final morning, and carried his domineering form into the home season. Having bullied 345 runs in two innings against the Bangladeshis, he spearheaded a no-holds-barred approach against Australia with 431 runs and a top score of 90, as he - and England - finally got the better of the one nation that really mattered. But his winter was cut short when he returned home suddenly from India under a cloak of secrecy, and after an indifferent summer it was announced he would miss the Champions Trophy as he was still recovering from a stress-related illness. He was included in the Ashes squad for the 2006-07 campaign Down Under but lasted less than two weeks before he was again boarding a flight back home with a recurrence of his illness. His return to action started with Somerset and his 2007 form, plus England's continued failings in one-day cricket, meant he was recalled to England's preliminary 30-man squad for the Twenty20 World Championships. But he never made the cut, and, in March 2008, days after withdrawing from Somerset's pre-season tour to the UAE, he announced his retirement from international cricket. His autobiography, Coming Back to Me, was due for publication on September 1, 2008.
wristy and natural batsman, Mark Lathwell's early career promised much, but ultimately he failed to live up to the hype - possibly because of that very hype - and he drifted out of the game before he was 30. He burst on the scene at Somerset and was heralded as one of England's most promising batsmen - Bob Cottam described him as "the best young player I've ever seen" - and that reputation was further enhanced on England A's tour of Australia in 1992-93. As England were being hammered by Australia in 1993 there were calls for him to be drafted in. By the time he was picked, his superb form of the previous 12 months has ebbed, and, clearly nervous, he struggled (as most did that summer) and was dropped after two outings. Most pundits assumed he would be back, stronger for the experience; in fact, he never again recaptured that early promise. At the end of 1993 he was named the Cricket Writers' Young Player Of The Year, but he struggled on that winter's A-team tour of South Africa, averaging 17. His confidence waned season by season, and by the end of the 1990s he was struggling to hold down a place in the Somerset side. His technique developed flaws, and he was sidelined by injuries for much of 1999 and 2000, but returned in 2001 with 702 runs at 35.10. However, his enthusiasm for the game had gone and, as he admitted, he found the whole thing a strain and he retired.
Matthew Wood was appointed Somerset vice-captain in July 2005 following the departure of Graeme Smith and seemed to enjoy the responsibility going on to score over a 1000 runs in the Championship for the first time in his career, including 297 against Yorkshire, at the time the fifth highest score by a Somerset batsman. This followed years of underachievement from a player who had shown his promise when winning Somerset's Player-of-the-Year award in 2002. Unfortunately Wood could not build on this in 2006 as he averaged only 23 in the Championship and eventually opted for a move to Nottinghamshire for 2008
Michael O'Shea is a graduate of the Glamorgan academy who has also played for England Under-19, touring India with them in 2004-05 and Bangladesh in 2005-06. When he made his first-class debut for Glamorgan against Bangladesh A in 2005 aged 17 years and 325 days he became the 18th youngest player to have played for the county, and although opportunities since have been limited he has a bright future
Legspinner Michael Munday was in the Oxford XI for three years, winning Blues in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and played for Cornwall in the Minor Counties Championship. He has also represented England at Under-19 level. He made his Somerset debut in 2005, and appropriately for a spinner he is also a keen chess player.
Peter Trego rejoined his first county Somerset in 2006 after brief spells at Middlesex and Kent. Trego is a former England Under-19 allrounder, but has never realised his potential. Inconsistency has been his major problem, clearly illustrated by the 2006 season where he scored three hundreds but still failed to pass 600 runs in 20 innings. However, there where signs in 2007 that he was maturing with a haul of 31 wickets and more than 800 runs as Somerset secured their double promotion
Ryan Driver played regularly for Cornwall while trying to make his mark in county cricket, and after spells with Derbyshire and Worcestershire 2nd XIs, he made an inauspicious debut at the end of 1998 when he scored 0 and 5 as an opener for Worcestershire against Durham. After a poor 1999, he secured a regular place in the side in 2000 on the back of some decent scores, culminating in 64 against Sussex. However, it was to be his only first-class fifty in 11 games and he was released at the end of the summer. He moved to Lancashire where he again failed to do enough to command a regular place, although he did take 5 for 70 against West Indies A with his little-used medium pace in 2001. He continued to play Minor Counties cricket where he was very much an allrounder - in 2007 he took 8 for 63 against Cornwall - and at the same time he started turning out for Jersey. He was appointed Jersey's captain in 2009.
NBC Denis Compton Award 2001
West Region and Gloucestershire
West Region and Glamorgan
Wes Durston is one of several ex-Millfield pupils in the Somerset set-up, and by 2006 he had become a regular part of the county's middle order. 2005 was something of a breakthrough year for Durston as he played several times in the Championship and was an ever-present in Somerset's victorious Twenty20 cup campaign. He had shown his promise on debut in 2002 with a cavalier 45-ball 55 against West Indies A.