Wicket-keeper batter Alex Horton is relishing the opportunity to play in different conditions when the first match of England Men’s Young Lions tour of Sri Lanka starts tomorrow.
The 17-year-old has yet to play in the subcontinent and is expecting a ‘tough challenge’ from his Sri Lankan counterparts during their five-match limited-over series.
“It will be good to experience different conditions in a tough challenge against a good Sri Lanka team,” said Horton.
“I’ve toured South Africa twice and Barbados once but this is my first time in the subcontinent and the heat and humidity will have a big impact on us.
“As a group we want to win the series, see what works for us and what doesn’t, and bond as a team.
“Personally, I just want to build on what I did in the summer when I just went out there and played my game.
“I want to push myself in harder conditions to gauge what it will be like for the future when playing in places with similar conditions."
The tour is part of England’s preparation ahead of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean starting in January.
Strong performances from Horton against Sri Lanka should guarantee his spot in the squad and he says it would be ‘class’ to play at a World Cup and pit himself against the leading players in the world for his age group.
“The World Cup is a big incentive, and it is in our minds because January is not long away.
“We want to go out there and give it a good crack because we are really confident that the team we have got can do well, although we’ve not talked about it too much just yet.
“It would be class to go to the World Cup so that I can judge myself against players from across the board to see where I stand."
Horton signed a long-term deal with Glamorgan last year but has yet to make his debut for the club.
Despite admitting to learning a lot from the coaches and players since joining the professional staff, he is hoping the winter can prove the springboard to pushing for a place in the first eleven next summer.
“I’ve got to do well and keep pushing for my place in the first team squad. A big goal of mine is to play in that first team, so this is a really good opportunity for me to go out there and show off my skills.
“I have loved being in the professional environment. It’s been a dream of mine for a while to play professional cricket and when I got that chance to sign a contract I grabbed it.
“They have been really good with me and it’s good to experience the professionalism of the club, especially with Matthew Maynard and Mark Wallace, who have helped me out a lot at a young age.
“They have guided through my first year of my contract and it has been a great experience being with all of the players there, picking the brains of the likes of Marnus, David Lloyd, Hamish Rutherford.”