Rew Relishing Somerset Opportunity

James Rew is thrilled to be part of what may well prove the most talented group of young cricketers in Somerset’s history.

The 17-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is one of five players to have made their debuts for the county in this season’s Royal London Cup.

Also in that category are 18-year-old Sonny Baker, Ned Leonard, also 18, Kasey Aldridge, 20, and Sam Young, who is 21.

Add the fact that Will Smeed and Tom Lammonby have been playing in The Hundred at the ages of 19 and 21 respectively, while Lewis Goldsworthy has become a first-team regular in white ball cricket at 20, and it is no wonder Somerset officials believe the future is bright.

Tom Banton, 22, has already played T20 cricket for England and Rew, highly rated by director of cricket Andy Hurry and head coach Jason Kerr, is setting his sights just as high.

He said: “It’s wonderful to be part of such a big group of good young players at the club. We talk to each other a lot and encourage one another.

“I still have a year to do at Kings College and only have a month’s contract to play in the Royal London Cup, but of course I would love to sign for Somerset as a professional player.

“Sonny Baker was a year above me at Kings, so I have played a lot with him. It’s great to have him around at the club.

“I chat to everyone in the squad, not just the young ones. It’s a great environment to be a part of.”

Rew, whose family moved to the West Country from London when he was four years old, plays his club cricket for Taunton St Andrews.

He is a product of the county age-group system and has spent the last two years with Somerset’s Academy.

Last month he was selected for a County Select XI to play the Indian touring side in a three-day game at Chester-le-Street and kept wicket in the game.

“That was a great experience,” he said. “I started keeping at an early age and hope it will be a big part of my game, looking forward.”

Rew’s parents and younger brother Thomas, who also plays county age group cricket, were at Taunton for his debut against Yorkshire last week He made 20 before being caught off a reverse sweep.

“It’s shot I play regularly and feel comfortable with,” he said. “When I got to the wicket Sam Young told me to play as if it were a club game and to forget there were 5,000 people watching!

“I later got to bat with James Hildreth, which was great. It was pleasing to start with a win and there is a really good feeling in the dressing room about the Royal London Cup.”

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