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ENGLAND: Robbo backs Hobden and Garton on PEPP selection


Sussex's Professional Cricket Manager Mark Robinson has urged his two young bowlers Matt Hobden and George Garton to make the most of their selection for the Potential England Performance Programme this winter.

Hobden has been included on the Programme for the second year on the trot whereas Garton, an 18-year-old left-armer who took his A-levels at Hurtspierpoint College this summer and has only played a handful of second team games, will be comfortably the youngest of the six bowlers selected.

They will spend several weeks with England’s coaching and conditioning staff at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough before Christmas, and then fly out to South Africa in the New Year for warm-weather training in Potchefstroom before linking up with the senior England squad in Johannesburg during the one-day international series.

“I know from Matt Hobden how good it was for him last year,” said Robinson, who was in South Africa himself last winter as the coach of the successful England Lions tour.

“It should always be a specific programme for each individual, not one size fits all, and I trust Kevin Shine and Neil Killeen, the coaches who run the programme, to do what’s best for the players.

“Because of their expertise and back-up, England can give players things the counties can’t. Matt had been having problems with his ankle in 2014, and as a result of the work he was able to do in South Africa he came back in a better condition than when he’d left. He’s got through an English summer, which hadn’t previously as a younger bowler, because he was in a better place to understand what he needs to do to play first-class cricket.”

The strapping 22-year-old played in 10 of Sussex’s 16 fixtures in the LV= County Championship, more than doubling his previous total of first-class appearances.

Garton has still to make his first-class debut, but he impressed the England Under-19s coaching set-up during this summer’s home series against Australia. He is one of two left-arm seamers in the six, along with Nottinghamshire’s Luke Wood, and Robinson added: “He’s a bit of a wildcard I guess. We didn’t see as much of George as we’d have liked this summer because he was injured for a while and then he was up and down the motorways with England Under-19s.

“He’s been in our Academy for three or four years, he’s a naturally good athlete who has the potential to be an allrounder and is a very good fielder as well. He hasn’t done much yet in terms of second team because he had school exams and those Under-19 commitments, but now he’s got a great opportunity. As with all these things, it’s up to the individuals to take a lot out of it.”


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