Ryan Gibson turned 17 in style this week as he celebrated his birthday while on tour in South Africa with the England under-19s squad.
The former Staithes all-rounder flew out earlier this week for the five-week tour, which encompasses two Test matches and five one day fixtures against South Africa’s under-19s side.
Gibson toured with the England side to Sri Lanka last winter and he will be calling on the experience he gained from that tour this time around.
Gibson said: “I think the experience I gained in Sri Lanka will help me massively.
“I think that experience could be key for me, not only on the field but off it as well.
“It is a long time away from home so it will help that I experienced that in Sri Lanka last year.”
Gibson isn’t one for setting huge targets for himself, but he is hoping that he can pin down the all-rounder’s spot in the under-19s side, who will play their first Test match at Newlands in Cape Town before moving on to the state ground at Paarl.
Gibson added: “I don’t set many targets as such, but I’d just like to make little achievements like to be seriously considered for the all-rounder spot in the Test side.
“I also want to try and play 80 per cent of the one day internationals as well but we’ll see what happens.”
The former Staithes all-rounder played several games for Yorkshire’s 2nd XI last season, but admits he won’t be sure where he’ll be plying his trade this summer until his international selection is decided.
He added: “I have no idea where I’m playing my cricket this season as it depends on international selection for the summer series’ we have against Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“I’d like to be involved with Yorkshire, and hopefully long term this is what I would like to do, to travel the world and play cricket for my country.”
Scarborough & District cricket development officer John Green is tipping the Whitby youngster for big things and thinks Gibson could feature in Yorkshire’s t20 campaign this season.
Green said: “Ryan is a very professional young man and I think he’ll go far in the sport.
“In three or four years time I expect to see him on the TV with the likes of Joe Root playing for Yorkshire.
“He hits the ball far and bowls a heavy ball too. He is a great all-round athlete as well and is usually the best in the field.
“England picked up on him for their under-17s side when he was just 15 and he has remained in the ranks a couple of years younger than the rest, which shows how much they rate him.
“I’d expect to see him involved with Yorkshire this summer in some form and he might get a game or two in their t20 campaign.”