TWO Yorkshire youngsters were given the benefit of Alastair Cook’s experience as they prepared to fly out to Australia today with England Under-19s.
Jared Warner, a seam bowler from Wakefield, and Mosun Hussain, a batsman from Leeds, are both in the 15-man squad who will play a four-day “Test” at the famous WACA ground in Perth, as well as five one-day internationals.
It will be the first Under-19 Ashes battle in Australia for more than a decade, and the England management, led by the former Somerset coach Andy Hurry, recruited Test captain Cook to help their preparations during a recent four-day camp at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough.
“I think we all found it really useful,” said Warner, an 18-year-old who has had to combine his tour preparations with mock A-levels at Silcoates School.
“Obviously, Mosun is a batsman, but even for me as a bowler it was interesting listening to him (Cook) talking about his approach to the game and how an international player goes about it.
“We’re both really excited about the tour now.
“It’s been in our minds for a while, we’ve probably been working towards it for a year-and-a-half, and I’ve got to that point where I’m bored of training inside and want to get into the game – especially in Australia, and a ground like the WACA.
“I’ve been playing with Mosun for Yorkshire since Under-13s, and also against him at club level, and that will make it a bit easier for both of us spending a month away.”
Warner and Hussain maintain Yorkshire’s impressive recent record of national selection at all levels, with six of the county’s stars in the England Test squad for the West Indies tour.
“We had seven in the Under-19 World Cup last year,” said Warner, who was included in the initial 30-man squad for that tournament before missing the final cut. “From then on, this has been my target.”
Cook commented: “It was great to spend time with the 19s before they go to Australia.
“It was interesting for me to see the next generation and see what level they are at.
“I’m pretty sure we will see a few England players from this group. It took me back to when I was an Under-19.
“Eleven or 12 years ago I was in the same boat, dreaming of playing professional cricket.”