Sports Awards: Staffordshire cricketers fly the flag in the Caribbean
Stoke Sentinel article.
Staffordshire, England - Staffordshire's young cricketers showcased their talent to the wider world in April 2013.
The county club's development squad, comprising players from under-14 and under-15 level, embarked on a tour of the Caribbean with exceptional results.
All of the youngers had previously played Staffordshire youth cricket, and showed that the future of the sport in the county is in safe hands as they produced some excellent displays in the West Indies.
Captained by Endon's George Sellers, the squad spanned the county, with George Scrimshaw (Dunstall), Dan Gibbs (Leycett), Jordan Bulpitt and Chris Becker (Milford Hall), Tom Hope, Anis Raza and Irfan Khan (Moddershall), Liam Banks (Hem Heath), Louis Allison (Porthill Park), Aiden Schmid (Stone), Ben Hudson (Wombourne), Alex Beaman (Cannock) in the party.
Staffordshire started their tour with four 50-overs matches against Barbados Under-15s, and managed a clean sweep against their hosts.
They then moved on to Trinidad to play three matches against the island's secondary school representative side, which produced two wins for the tourists.
Arguably their biggest triumph was on returning to Barbados, where they played the women's team, which included several current West Indies internationals.
It proved to be a fantastic finale to the tour with Staffordshire scoring 207-5, with Barbados scoring 82-7 in reply.
Leading run scorer on the tour was Banks with 352 runs, which included back-to-back centuries against the Barbados under-15s.
He was closely followed by skipper Sellers, who amassed 339 runs, which included a top score of 81, again against Barbados under-15s.
Allison accrued 324 runs, and also produced the innings of the tour when he blasted 132 against Barbados Ladies. His century came off just 42 balls. Leading wicket takers were the Moddershall pair of Raza (14) and Hope (10), who were well supported by Milford Halls Bulpitt (8) and Stone's Schmid, who captured seven victims.
The squads success was noted by first-class counties back home.
Banks has joined the Warwickshire Academy, while Hope and Scrimshaw linked up with Worcestershire.
Raza also impressed and is currently training with Nottinghamshire.
The tour was supported by Brendon Buchanan (manager), Graham Warner (coach), Martin Williams (team manager) and Hannah Williams (scorer).
Martin Williams has now nominated the squad in the Junior Team category at The Sentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
He said: "This was a wonderfully successful cricket tour from a playing perspective, but the lads have had the opportunity to experience a completely different culture to that which they are usually accustomed.
"On the field of play they performed exceptionally well and off the field of play they conducted themselves in an exemplary fashion.
"The tour was a wonderful experience for all those involved and gave the opportunity to show the undoubted strength of Staffordshire junior cricket.
"The success of this tour now enables us to plan to return in the Easter of 2015."