Everyone is going on about Australia's young players so I think its about time everyone heard of the less known young talent England have at their disposal. And not a mention of Rob Key, Simon Jones, Steve Harmison, Richard Dawson or Jamie Foster
Ian Bell (Warwickshire) - Showed what he could do in his 1st season but had one of "those" seasons but will be back. A very impressive England U-19 and ECB Academy player, you can't doubt his class.
Owais Shah (Middlesex) - Has scored 1000+ runs for the last 2 seasons, averaged 41 2 years ago after a late slump but averaged nearer 50 this year...also did rather well on his debut against Australia when batting with Ben Hollioke in which they added 70 odd in 6-7 overs at the end of the innings.
Michael Powell (Glamorgan) - A very talented batsman who is starting to score consistantly again.
Vikram Solanki (Worcestershire) - A very wristy, stylish batsman who bowls useful Offspin and who like Powell is scoring consistantly again. Has played ODIs before but the longer version of the game is more suited to his game.
Kabir Ali (Worcestershire) - A fast improving bowling all-rounder with noteable bowling and batting performances to his name, has won several games with his bowling.
Jamie Troughton (Warwickshire) - Scored 1000+ runs in his 1st season and was allways agressive and willing to attack. Looks a fine prospect.
Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire) - 50+ wickets in his 1st full season and has speed to burn.
Andy Pratt (Durham) - A bit old to be called a "youngster" but one of the best wicket-keepers you'll ever see even if his batting isn't nearly as consistant"
Kyle Hogg (Lancashire) - Grandson of Sonny Ramadhin, he showed his class this year for both Lancashire and England U-19's although without specatular figures. Scored a Century for England U-19's against India in one of the OD games to show that he is more than just a bowler.
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) - Impressive as both batsman and captain of Middlesex and led them into Division 1 of the County Championship.
David Nash (Middlesex) - Steady wicket-keeper and averaged over 40 this season in FC cricket.
Ed Joyce (Middlesex) - The Irish Left-Hander was a rock for Middlesex this year and although he will take a few years to Qualify for England he is only 24 and is committed to playing for England.
Rikki Clarke (Surrey) - More than surpassed himself in plugging the hole left by Ben Hollioke's tragic death although he looks much more of a batsman who bowls than an all-rounder.
Scott Newman (Surrey) - Impressive in his 3 games for Surrey this season averaging 61 whilst opening the innings and looking a very fine young player in a squad brimming with talent.
Rob White (Northamptonshire) - The young opener scored 277 on his FC debut and averaged 59 in 6 games to plug the hole left by Mike Hussey when he left to play for the Australia A team near the end of the season.
Chris Schofield (Lancashire) - Averaged 32.5 with the bat and 18 with the ball, how many young players can claim that? Showing a lot of talent with the bat for a player originally picked because of his bowling and scored a 50 in only his 2nd test.
Tim Ambrose and Matt Prior (Sussex) - Both impressed in their 1st full seasons and although Prior is the better keeper (reportedly one of the best in the country standing up to the seamers), Ambrose is the better bat and not far behind as a keeper.
Jamie Dalrymple (Middlesex) - Has impressed with the bat more than the ball lately but is considered a very fine young Off-spinner and his accuracy in OD games, in which he has a strike rate of 34.5, has helped win several games. In a squad containing Phil Tufnell he has suffered from a lack of oppertunities.
Mark Wallace (Glamorgan) - A very impressive young keeper who has also shown a lot of fight with the bat and played quite a few match-winning and match-saving innings. Has shown maturity past his years and has captained the ECB academy with Ian Bell as well as the England U-19 side in which he also shared the job with Bell.
Well there you go! Sorta makes that Aussie headline "Is there anyone in England who can play cricket?" seem a bit optimistic.
[Edited on 13/11/2002 by Rik]