Jake’s Barbados cricket dream

A TALENTED young cricketer from Catterall has been selected for a Lancashire County pre-season tour of Barbados next year.

Thursday, 4th November 2010, 2:33 pm

Jake Smith has been playing cricket for his county for the past three years after impressing for Garstang Cricket Club.

And the 13-year-old Garstang High School pupil will be in the squad as Lancashire’s most promising young cricket stars head out to the Caribbean during the Easter holidays for a seven game tour.

As a leg-spin bowler Jake has been Lancashire’s leading wicket-taker in his age group for the past two seasons and this year was named ‘player of the tournament’ at an Inter-County event in Taunton.

He also played a crucial role in helping his club side to an historic success when as the youngest member of Garstang’s U17s’ side he was named man-of-the-match as they won the Palace Shield Cup.

Jake is originally from Lancaster but mum Lisa says his love for cricket really developed when the family moved to Catterall.

Lisa said: “He gained a place in the Under 11 squad at Garstang Cricket Club at the tender age of eight after he found he could ‘copy’ Shane Warne’s bowling action after watching him in the 2005 Ashes series.’’

Since then Jake has received numerous honours and accolades, and not only for his prowess with the ball - he is also a useful batsmen and has played for the the Wyre district team since he was nine and got his first taste of county cricket at 10.

The two week tour to Barbados will include a match at the famous Kensington Oval test match venue.

Andy Hayhurst, Director of the Lancashire Cricket Board, highlights that the aim of the tour is to “accelerate the development of these players at a very important age in their cricketing lives.”

Jake and his family are hopeful that the experience gained on this tour will support him further in his dream of one day becoming a professional cricketer for his county and, perhaps, his country.

Funding for the tour has been primarily down to sponsorship and donations from friends, family, neighbours and local businesses.

Lisa says they would like to thank Lancaster University Sport’s Centre, Guy’s Thatched Hamlet Sir Robert Atkins, Jon Gale, Harry Robinson, Mark Theobald, Stuart Ellis, Wyre Bank Banqueting Suite, Barton Grange, the Spaghetti House in Lancaster and Mark Pearson and Richard Fox Andrews for their kind donations.

Jake and his parents have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people, especially during the current economic state of affairs.

Jake said: “I’m extremely grateful because people have gone out of their way to help. I want to say a big thank you to my parents and great-grandparents who have spent a lot of time and effort helping me on my way to Barbados. I am very excited and cannot wait to get out there!”

* Anyone wishing to further help Jake can contact his parents Lisa and Greg Smith at [email protected]