5 England U19 stars to watch out for after shining at the World Cup


England enjoyed an excellent Under 19 World Cup, getting all the way to the final before coming up short against India on Saturday

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England finished runners-up at the Under 19 World Cup on Saturday, losing by four wickets to India in the final.

Although they came up short at the final hurdle, England enjoyed a very impressive tournament, going unbeaten up until the showpiece event.

It was the first time England have made it to an Under 19 World Cup final since 1998, with a team containing future England players like Graeme Swann, Owais Shah and Rob Key lifting the trophy on that occasion.

A number of England’s youngsters have starred throughout this year’s tournament and Mirror Sport has taken a look at five prospects who could be ones to watch going forward.

James Rew – Somerset

Although he may not have had a prolific tournament, Rew’s 95 in the final was an outstanding innings under pressure and almost single-handedly kept his side in the game.

The 18-year-old had only made brief contributions up until that point, with this his first score of more than 30, but the fact he delivered when his team needed him most is a hugely impressive feat.

Rew also received a massive vote of confidence from former England captain Michael Vaughan, who tweeted: “Loved watching James Rew bat .. looks a fantastic player .. very natural with a very good cricket Brain ..”

Jacob Bethell – Warwickshire

Described by former England star Ian Bell as “the best 17-year-old” he has ever seen, Bethell starred for his country during the World Cup at the top of the order.

He finished the tournament as England’s second leading run scorer, with a standout innings of 88 off just 42 balls against South Africa in the quarter-finals underlining his talent.

Bethell is also a capable left-arm spinner and made his professional debut for Warwickshire in all three formats last season.

Tom Prest – Hampshire

England’s standout with the bat throughout the tournament – Prest scored 292 runs at an average of 58.40, including an outstanding 154 not out against the UAE.

One of two England players named in the team of the tournament, Prest has already made a breakthrough at county level, top scoring with 44 in Hampshire’s T20 Blast quarter-final win over defending champions Nottinghamshire last year.

To star with the bat like he did at the World Cup while also having the added responsibility of the captaincy should stand him in good stead for the future.

Rehan Ahmed – Leicestershire

An exciting young leg-spinning all-rounder, Ahmed picked up 12 wickets at an average of just 12.58 during England’s run to the final.

He grabbed the headlines in the dramatic semi-final victory over Afghanistan, taking three wickets in the penultimate over of the match to bowl England to victory.

Ahmed made his senior debut in the One-Day Cup last year and Leicestershire’s spin coach Jigar Naik is excited about the teenager’s future.

“Rehan came to the Leicester academy when he was about 14 and the first time I saw him, I thought: ‘Wow, this is something we can’t miss’,” Naik told the Telegraph . “And not just his batting or his bowling but his character. His passion for cricket shone through, and when you see talent like that, we – as coaches – have to be careful about what we change.”

Josh Boyden – Lancashire

Having picked up 15 wickets at a remarkable average of just 9.86, Boyden also made the team of the tournament.

Only one other bowler, Sri Lanka’s Dunith Wellalage, took more wickets than Boyden and the 17-year-old set the tone excellently with the new ball.

His in-swinger proved particularly potent and, as a left-arm seamer, he offers something different.

He also received praise from Vaughan, who tweeted: “Lancashire have one in Josh Boyden …”

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