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England call-up for Jaik

PUBLISHED: 11:24 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 07:43 01 August 2010

Jaik Mickleburgh

Jaik Mickleburgh

Receiving throw-downs from England's highest Test run scorer has become part and parcel of life for former Bungay High School student Jaik Mickleburgh.

Receiving throw-downs from England's highest Test run scorer has become part and parcel of life for former Bungay High School student Jaik Mickleburgh.

The 18-year-old is flourishing under the wing of Graham Gooch - now Essex batting coach - although he admits it can be an unnerving experience facing up to such a high-profile figure.

“It can get a bit nerve-wracking when he throws the ball down, because you are thinking 'I'd better not do this or I'd better not do that',” said Mickleburgh. “But he has had a big effect on my game, just reminding me about little things, important things, so he has been a big help.”

Having spent last winter playing in Australia as part of Gooch's scholarship scheme, Mickleburgh, who plays club cricket for Horsford, is heading Down Under again later this month to train at the Paul Terry Academy in Perth.

In January he will be travelling to South Africa as part of the England U19 squad to play a Test, five one-day internationals and two Pro20 games.

Although he has played for South of England teams before, it is the first time Mickleburgh has been picked for a national side. He said: “Obviously, it is the big one. It's the last of the England age groups and to get a month away representing your country, it doesn't get much better than that.

A few weeks after his return from that trip, Mickleburgh is likely to be among the Essex party heading out to Dubai for a pre-season tournament.

It promises to be a whirlwind few months, but he recognises how fortunate he is and he appreciates the financial help he has received through scholarships from

the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust.

Mickleburgh marked his first-class debut at Leicester in August with a half-century.

The teenager followed up with a knock of 72 in his next county match, against Warwickshire, an innings which helped cement his place in the England U19 squad.

Jaik Mickleburgh is seeking sponsorship for the coming year. Any businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring him should call 01986 894504.

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