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Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope - Cricket News
Features and Specials,26 January 2016

Stars in their eyes, young guns embark on journey of hope


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Sadler the trail blazer

Paddy Sadler is blazing a trail for Scottish cricket.

Sadler the trail blazer - Cricket News

The Scotland U19 skipper - already one of his country's brightest young talents - has just been made captain of cricket at Cambridge University, that most English of institutions.
The rangy opening bowler becomes the first Scotsman to take on the role, and the significance of it is not lost on a man who wants to lead Scottish cricket into a bright new future - starting with the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Queensland.
"That's really exciting, and I'm following in the footsteps of guys like Mike Atherton. It's a massive honour," Sadler said.
It's the cherry on top for Sadler, who has just finished his second year studying politics and sociology at Cambridge.
"It's an unbelievable place to study," the well-spoken 20-year-old said.
"Obviously that was why I had to leave Scotland - to study, because you can't really turn down the opportunity to study at a place like that.
"It's been really good for cricket as well. We've got a really good indoor set-up and a really nice ground, and the training programme is all the way through the year."
Cambridge is one of six universities in England to have a Marylebone Cricket Club-funded academy, which provides the sport with a fertile breeding ground across the UK.
It means not only does Sadler get to study at one of the world's most famous colleges, he can also test himself in three matches per year against full, first-team counties.
Last year, Sadler faced the best XIs of Lancashire, Essex and Gloucestershire.
"The opportunity to play against first-class cricketers while still studying is just a fantastic thing," he said.
"We've got five or six guys in our squad who are part of that system, and it's been a great opportunity for us to develop.
"That's on top of the obvious benefits of studying at such a great place."
Sadler captained Scotland to qualification for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup thanks to a stunning run of eight straight wins in last year's qualifying tournament.
"It was a great bit of form we got into over the course of a couple of weeks, and it was a great time to be with the team," he said.
But that's just the start for this ambitious cricketing prodigy.
"Hopefully we are the future for Scottish cricket," Sadler said of the potential for Scotland's U19 squad.
"It's something that we're proud to do - take the Scottish cricket name forward.
"As a group of guys we've got a great chance to come and hopefully make an impression and do well against these stronger sides."

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