Flixton Cricket Club’s Marley Ward is ready to jet off to captain a Pro-Coach Yorkshire side on their tour of South Africa.
The tour will last 11 days and Ward, 17, and his teammates will play five games while they are in Potchefstroom, near Johannesburg.
Ward (pictured below) helped Flixton to an historic National Village Cup victory at Lord’s to round-off a superb season with the gloves, with the youngster receiving plaudits for his performances throughout the village club’s cup run and this call-up caps a superb 12 months for him.
“This is the sort of experience I might only get once in my lifetime, so I am looking forward to it,” said Ward.
“I have been on tour in Spain before, but going to South Africa will be on another level.”
“I was asked to play for the team and captain them last summer and I really enjoyed it.
“We played one of the Chennai Super Kings’ youth teams and touring sides from Australia and the USA at Ampleforth last year, it was a great experience.”
Ward’s call-up to travel to South Africa caps a superb 12 months for the young wicketkeeper, who admits he learned a lot from helping Flixton win the National Village Cup as they beat Liphook & Ripsley at Lord’s in front of almost 2,000 people.
“I think playing in such a big game at a ground like Lord’s and in front of so many people helped me develop mentally more than technically,” added Ward.
“To play in front of 1,800 fans and at such an historic ground, you have to be strong mentally if you’re going to perform.”
Ward’s ultimate goal is to play for Yorkshire professionally, but despite turning out for their Under-19s side in 2018, he’s keeping his feet on the ground.
He added: “I’d love to play for Yorkshire, but so would a lot of cricketers my age, so I need to keep working hard.”