Published: 10th January, 2019
Young Surrey wicketkeeper-batsman Jamie Smith hopes his Young Lions experience in Bangladesh will stand him in good stead for senior cricket this summer.
18-year-old Smith rounded off an impressive 12 months – which has included a senior debut and a first professional contract – by being named as limited overs captain of the Young Lions side travelling to the sub-continent later this month.
He will take charge of a squad of 15 promising youngsters for one T20 and three ODIs, starting on 27th January, and he’s ready to fit the responsibility alongside his keeping and batting roles within the team.
“It was a very proud moment [to be named as captain]. I’ve had some exposure to this level with Surrey and in the U19s so it’s a really nice thing to be put forward for and I’m very much looking forward to leading the boys out there on what’s going to be a very tough challenge.”
Although Smith hasn’t played a recognised match for the Young Lions yet, he was involved in training camps in both the UK and India in late 2018 that were vital in creating a team spirit within the group.
“It was a really important period that we were away for before Christmas. We had three weeks in Bangalore with a training camp and a couple of matches thrown in. It really brought the team together and was definitely needed for a bunch of guys from different counties to get to know each other.”
Despite the fact a highly competitive tour in Bangladesh, which also includes two Tests in February, may be a fresh experience for many of the players involved; Smith believes the group are ready to take the game to their hosts.
“The 15 lads that are going to Bangladesh are very strong and we’ll be looking to make it as difficult as we can out there in their own conditions. They are quite alien conditions but I’ve been given a few tips from the other players in the Surrey dressing room on what to expect.
“It’s going to be difficult but I’ve done quite a lot of work over the winter so it’s about knowing your own game as well as possible. We’ll take it a game at a time and see where we go from there.”
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After such a whirlwind 12 months for the teenager, he now wants to use the upcoming tour and then the following pre-season programme with Surrey to stake his claim for a place in the county side.
“We’ve got such a great team here and really solid squad but there are going to be some opportunities cropping up with people away on England duty. I want to be pushing these guys as much as I can to be getting as much first team action as possible but it’s all about taking that opportunity when it comes to try and seal your place.”
We’ll keep you up to date with Smith’s progress in Bangladesh on kiaoval.com.