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Luke shines for England at World Cup

Proud dad left ‘gobsmacked’ as teenage cricket ace claims three wickets in Namibia victory

19 January, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Luke Hollman walks out for England against Namibia in Queenstown

MIDDLESEX leg-­spinner Luke Hollman says it was “a proud moment” when he found out he had been selected to play for his country.

The Acland Burghley pupil, who lives in Tufnell Park, certainly played his part as ­England raced to a ­confident eight-wicket victory in their ICC Under-19s World Cup opener against Namibia in New Zealand.

Luke started the celebrations late on Sunday night UK time when he made a smart catch off Hampshire’s Tom Scriven’s bowling to remove opener Jurgen Linde and help claim the first wicket of the match.

It turned out that the 17-year-old was just getting warmed up, as he went on to top the Young Lions’ bowling statistics after claiming three wickets at the expense of just 41 runs in a devastating 10-over spell.

His economic bowling, along with Scriven, who took 2-30, and captain Harry Brook, 2-32, saw Namibia post 196-9 from their 50 overs.

It was a target that England made light work of as they eased to 198-2, with Surrey’s Will Jacks ending not out on an entertaining 73 from just 44 balls, while skipper Brook, who plays for Yorkshire, crafted an unbeaten 59.

Middlesex team-mates Ethan Bamber, Luke Hollman, Jack Davies and Savin Perera on England Under-19s World Cup duty in New Zealand

Reflecting on the win, and being selected to play for England at the World Cup, “proud” Luke said: “It’s a real honour, I wasn’t expecting it.

“It’s been a great experience so far, I’m really enjoying every minute of it.

“To get three wickets in the opening match was pretty pleasing. The team supported me really well, it was a great performance from the lads, and a good win.”

Luke, who also plays for North Middlesex Cricket Club, first appeared in our sports pages when he was playing in goal for Pro Touch Soccer Academy.

But his dad Peter revealed that, while he’s always been a big football fan – and a proud supporter of League One side AFC Wimbledon – there was really only one sport that would get him racing on to the pitch.

“He’s always loved playing cricket,” said Peter.

“When he was younger we would go to Whittington Park in Holloway, and when all the footballers would go off at half-time he’d run on to the pitch to bowl a few overs.

“He’s always been obsessed with the sport. I can even remember, he must have been about six or seven, and he started crying because we wouldn’t let him stay up late to watch the India versus Bangladesh test match.”

“When he called us to tell us that he’d been selected to play for England, it was such a fantastic phone call to get. We were all gobsmacked,” added Peter.

“We’re so deliriously happy for him.”

An unbeaten century from Brook saw England beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in their second match late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. They play Canada on Friday.


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