Young Oswestry cricket ace Xavie Clarke is back on home soil and preparing for a busy summer after helping to blaze a trail for future England cricketers.
The 16-year-old batsman and wrist spinner was a member of the first-ever Bunbury/ECB under-16 squad to go on an overseas tour – a recent visit to Sri Lanka.
And although they lost the series 3-1, Bunbury’s founder and cricket fanatic David English is now hoping to make the tour, featuring the cream of under-16 talent in England, a regular event.
Xavie, who is a member of the Worcestershire Academy, played in all four games after his performances at the Bunbury Festival last summer which marked the 30th anniversary of the event.
Tour manager for the trip was Steve Aston, who has been involved in cricket in Shropshire for more than 40 years.
He said: “It was a really good trip and Xavie and the rest of the boys were a real credit in the way they behaved and bonded and represented English cricket.
“It was a steep learning curve with only one training session before we were straight into the action without really having time to acclimatise.
“While Sri Lanka had been together for eight weeks, the Bunburys had one training session indoors at Loughborough so conditions were very different to what they have been used to.
“The tour was a big success both on and off the field, although the results didn’t go our way. But it was a great experience for the boys and gave them an idea of what they need to do get to the next level by learning to play in all conditions.”
Xavie has a busy summer ahead, with cricket and GCSEs to juggle, and he has already been back in action on the cricket field. He was a member of the Worcester Academy team which claimed victory in the annual pre-season festival at Shrewsbury School against the 1st XIs of the hosts, Millfield School and Worksop College.
And he will be playing for Oswestry when their Birmingham League season gets under way at C and R Hawks this Saturday.