Old Boy Haseeb is England’s New Opening Batsman
Tuesday, 08 November 2016
Fifteen months ago Haseeb Hameed was picking up his A level results from Bolton School; tomorrow he will open the batting for England against India in the first test match in Rajkot. He will become England’s fifth youngest Test player and youngest ever opening batsman. He is the first Lancashire opening batsman to play for England in 21 years and is picked having scored 1,129 runs and averaged 52 over the summer in the County Championship Division One. He was part of the England squad but did not play in either Test match in the recent tour of Bangladesh but now he has been handed his chance at the expense of Yorkshire’s Ballance, who drops out of the team, having scored just 24 runs in 4 innings in the last series.
Head of Cricket at Bolton School, Mr Andy Compton, in an interview for BBC North West Tonight said: “It is a very proud day and I am delighted for Haseeb. We had high hopes for him and it was clear from the start that he was an outstanding cricketer. We knew he was special before he came to us as another county had tried to lure him away from Lancashire but only when he arrived did we see how good he was. The first time I saw him was in our indoor nets in the Spring Term when he was in Year 8 and we knew then we had a very special talent on our hands.
“His father, Ismail, has been the largest influence by far on his career and has been his mentor throughout. During his time with us, we worked out that Haseeb was doing sixteen hours per week more than the Academy required so he certainly had the dedication from an early age. He has the perfect mix of technique and patience which should see him perform well in Test match cricket. Whilst he was at Bolton School, he played at a challenging level throughout, often playing boys in older age groups than himself. I recall him being only 14 years old and playing in 40 and 50 over games, which helped with his development. I recall him scoring two consecutive centuries over a weekend in two HMC 20/20 matches and I think he proved to me then – and possibly himself - that he could score quickly if needs be and was more than capable of adapting to the context of the game.
“Making his debut in India could not be more appropriate as that is where his parents are from and they have been incredibly supportive throughout. They, along with me, will be extremely proud. I will be watching the match in the early hours and I hope he makes the most of his opportunity – I am sure he will.”
The national press have today run stories on Haseeb’s meteoric rise to the top and you can read some here: The BBC, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Sun and Sky Sports.