wo young cricketers from Northamptonshire’s Emerging Players Programme (EPP) have gained recognition at the country’s leading youth cricket event.
Olly Jefferies and Rohan Mehmi both represented the Midlands at the 33rd ECB David English Bunbury Festival – held this year at Felsted School in Essex, where the likes of Derek Pringle and Nick Knight are numbered among the former pupils.
The festival pulls together 56 of the best young players in the Under-15s age-group and is now part of ECB’s Player Pathway. County coaches nominate their outstanding youngsters before trials and assessments in the four regions – London and East, Midlands, South and West, and North – whittle the numbers down.
Those selected take part in 50-over and T20 matches over the course of the week-long festival, with educational sessions for the benefit of the young cricketers as well as their coaches and parents.
“It was an enjoyable learning experience,” confirmed Olly. “I was proud to represent Northamptonshire and to be able to share and compare training methods with boys from other counties.”
“It was also good to be able to watch and compare myself to cricketers of similar ability. My target now is to finish this season strongly and hopefully progress onto the Northamptonshire Academy.”
“The experience has taught me a lot, both tactically and technically,” added Rohan.
“To be chosen to represent the county made me feel really proud and grateful, as it showed the end-product of hard work with my coaches – even though there is still a lot more to do.”
“The week at Felsted has also made me more tactically aware of the game and has given me a little insight into the life of a professional cricketer. Ideally my next step would be selection for the Academy and then to play Second XI cricket in the near future.”
Some of English cricket’s greatest players of recent times have cut their competitive teeth at the Bunbury Festival – including current skipper Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and former County and England star Graeme Swann.