Updated: Thursday, 21st September 2017 @ 12:16pm

Great opportunity beckons for Lancashire cricketing gem Haseeb Hameed, says Gallian

Great opportunity beckons for Lancashire cricketing gem Haseeb Hameed, says Gallian

| By Jimmy Booker

In Alastair Cook, Haseeb Hameed has one of the best mentors possible according to Jason Gallian, and the former England opener is urging the talented youngster to take in everything he can.

Having impressed in his first County Championship year, the Lancashire batsman was propelled into the Test side when still just a teenager against India last November.

But a combination of tough subcontinental outings, injury and disappointing form for his county have seen him drop out of the plans, though thoughts of an Ashes berth this winter are not out of the question.

And Gallian is convinced this is not the last we’ve seen of the 20-year-old – so long as he maintains the temperament and technical ability that took him to the very top.

“He’s definitely a talented young player – he’s got plenty of time but also he needs to be gaining the experience, so the sooner he can get into form and back into the England set up the better,” said Gallian, a fellow Red Rose batsman.

“Better for himself but also for England. He’s got a very good temperament but also the technique to go with it as long as he can keep working hard.

“Obviously he can see the standards that are being set by people like Alastair Cook, I think will probably be very good role model for him.

“If he can attain those sort of heights, I think he’ll have a great opportunity.”

Gallian was speaking at the Wicketz Festival, an annual event which saw Wicketz projects from across the country descend on Felsted School in Essex, launched by the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, the Lord’s Taverners, in 2012.

The day allowed budding cricketers to play competitively and receive coaching from former and current professionals Graham Napier, Lydia Greenway, Gallian and Monty Panesar as well as workshops on social issues.

And the former England man is hopeful he has imparted some wisdom on the budding stars, delighted to see plenty of enthusiasm on show from everyone involved.

“It was a pretty special day, bringing some kids who are from inner city areas to Felsted in rural Essex,” he said. “Hopefully some of us ex-professionals can impart some knowledge onto these young raw and talented individuals.

“I was a batsman in my playing days, but I wasn’t much of a power hitter, so I was teaching them a few things that I didn’t do!

“You can definitely see there’s talent there, and if we can impart something on them, in terms of getting some technical issues right, they can improve their teams.

“They were very much engaged, hopefully they’ve gained a bit of knowledge from it, there was a high calibre of coaches out there, so maybe they’ve gained a bit they can take into their games and back to their clubs.”

The Wicketz programme is delivered by the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, the Lord's Taverners. The programme is aimed at hard to reach young people and provides a sustainable cricket environment with a focus on social cohesion and developing crucial life skills – go to www.lordstaverners.org to find out more.

Image courtesy of ECB via YouTube, with thanks.