Monday, 25 July 2011

Stuart Meaker selected in England Lions squad

We all knew this day would come. Those of us who saw Stuart Meaker detonating the stumps of Leicestershire's tail back at the start of May with his 90mph yorkers must have feared that England would come calling soon enough.

And so it came to pass, Meaker has today been named in the Lions squad to play the four day game and three one day games against Sri Lanka A in August. Jade Dernbach has also been named in the four day squad.

Back in 2009, when Spin published an article proclaiming Meaker as "the fastest bowler in England" I remember being sceptical, having never seen him bowl live. However when I did first see him bowl, it was clear that he was a good bit quicker than everyone else at the club.

For 18 months or so after that Meaker was in and out of the side, for a quick bowler at such a young age that was quite right, and he had his fair share of injuries. But the last 12 months have really seen Meaker kick on quite spectacularly. Since the game last year with Gloucestershire he has taken 53 wickets in 14 matches, at an average around the 25 mark. He genuinely is 90mph+ and his control has developed out of sight in recent months. He has earned his chance with the Lions and I hope he grasps it with both hands

Where does that leave our seam attack though? Depleted, in a word. No Dernbach, Meaker or Tremlett for probably two and quite possibly four games through August is a huge blow. Linley is in fine form, Arafat is hopefully on an upward curve and Dunn has proved himself capable, but we're only an injury away from serious trouble in the quick bowling department.

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