Middlesex County League Premier Division: First-team batsman Will Bowley can inspire next generation of Highgate CC cricketers

Local children play on Highgate CC's pitch (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC).

Local children play on Highgate CC's pitch (pic: Michael Clarke/Highgate CC). - Credit: Archant

Johan de Silva and David Proctor praise efforts of the young batsman and hope he will continue to be perfect role model for club’s juniors

Highgate are keen to see more of their juniors’ progress through the academy set-up and into seniors’ teams, particularly the first-team over the next couple of years, and believe Will Bowley is the perfect role model for youngsters in the area.

Wicket-keeper batsman Johan de Silva, who is All Stars Cricket and Schools Recruitment Lead at the Shepherd’s Cot club, spoke recently about the work the Middlesex County League Premier Division outfit have put in with their youth over the winter months.

Bowley is a product of Highate’s academy and was first a junior at the club around eight years ago and has progressed through hours of hard work and dedication.

The batsman played a crucial part in the north Londoners gaining promotion in 2017 and shone batting at number three - demonstrating his quick scoring throughout the course of the year, notably with a blistering 73-ball 124 against Indian Gymkhana back in August.

“Will is a fantastic example to all of our juniors coming through which shows there is potential to represent the club at first-team level,” said de Silva.

“He is an excellent ambassador for Highgate CC as a whole. The younger cricketers at the club are able to look at Will as a guide on the way to train, play and conduct themselves and if they follow his lead it will give them a chance to achieve at the highest level.”

De Silva is confident that the club’s winter work will lead to an increased number of juniors this year – with time, this will hopefully develop as Highgate widen their reach in local schools going forward.

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The club have run a schools programme across four boroughs and are beginning to see the success of this as the season starts.

Highgate are also proactively supporting the ECB’s All Stars Initiative with three programmes being run over the course of the summer on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

De Silva is excited at the prospect and keen for more budding cricketers to join the club. He added: “All Stars Cricket is a fantastic initiative from the ECB.

“It is supported all the way through the cricketing pyramid, from the men and women representing the country at senior level right through to grass-roots clubs like ours.

“The club has great numbers so far but all of the All Stars Sessions improve the more kids we have present, so if you are considering getting your child into cricket, or know anyone who does, I urge you to get in touch.”

Highgate’s director of junior cricket, David Proctor praised Bowley, adding: “Will is a great example of a Highgate junior who has come through the ranks.

“One of our key aims is to inspiring the next generation of individuals developing in the junior section at Highgate.

“We are looking at our under-15 and under-13 group, where there are some rising stars, to begin to transition into Adult League Cricket as well as the Middlesex Development League this season to further enhance their abilities in game situations.”

Highgate’s three different All Stars Cricket programmes run across Friday May 11 to Friday June 29, Saturday May 12 to Saturday June 30 and Sunday June 3 until Sunday July 22.

The Shepherd’s Colt club have junior teams from under-nines up to under-15s, with plans for under-17s and under-19s next year and a clear integration plan for senior cricket.

For more, e-mail de Silva on highgatefixturessecretary@gmail.com or call him on 07481 622191.