November 27 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 8, 2014
Young Norfolk star Callum Taylor has taken a big step on the path to cricket stardom after being called up for the England Under-17s.
The Swardeston batsman has been included for an upcoming series against Pakistan, following some impressive performances for Essex CCC’s second XI and academy teams.
The 17-year-old, from Cromer, has received a national call for the first time. He burst onto the scene with Norfolk last season and became the county’s youngest ever century-maker at the age of 16 when he scored 127 against Staffordshire.
He also made headlines in May when he hit an unbeaten 73 off 40 balls for the Essex second XI, including seven sixes.
The England call-up comes as no surprise to Swardeston club captain Peter Thomas though, as Taylor has played his part in another dominant season for the reigning East Anglian Premier League champions.
In 24 matches in all competitions so far this season, Taylor has scored 844 runs, at an average of 42.2. He has scored seven half centuries and one ton, his season high of 116, and helped himself to 92 fours and 30 sixes along the way.
“This is his fifth season with us,” Thomas said. “He came here when he was 12 and in his first game Swardeston I was actually playing and he hooked his first ball for six, against Topcroft.
“I think we have always pushed him all the time. We played him in the first team when he was 13 and he wasn’t really ready, but as a club we’ve pushed him ahead of his age group and now it’s given him that opportunity to get where he is now.”
Callum also plays alongside his older brothers at Swardeston, Jordan, who has also broken into the Norfolk team this season, and Nathan, who is captain of the club’s third team.
Thomas continued: “I certainly think he can become a professional cricketer, as for beyond that, there are a lot of good cricketers around so it’s not easy, but he does have talent.
“He can hit a ball very hard and must be hugely talented to get into the England Under-17s, which is a huge achievement.
“He’s a really lovely lad, unassuming, polite, he listens, so if anyone deserves it, it’s him.”
Taylor’s busy schedule has limited his involvement with Norfolk so far this season but county captain Chris Brown was also full of praise for the youngster, who will play for the England Under-17s in one-day games against Pakistan in Loughborough on August 15, 17 and 19, as well as a three-day game starting on August 22. “It’s a good achievement for him. He’s done well with Essex and ever since he was young,” Brown said.
“When he was 13 or 14 I saw him score a hundred at Merchant Taylors’ against Middlesex and I phoned John Childs (director of Essex Cricket Academy) on my way home and said, this lad has got some serious skills and talent.
“I’m sure it won’t be long until he’s full-time and on his way to being a professional.”
Do you know someone who has received national sporting recognition recently? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or firstname.lastname@example.org