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Banton's rise a great sign for English cricket, feels Malan

James Jose/Abu Dhabi
Filed on November 17, 2019
Banton was the leading scorer in the Vitality Blast, England's county T20 competition. - Photo by Ryan Lim

Tom's flamboyant batting has earned comparisons with Kevin Pietersen and incumbent wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Tom Banton has been spoken of as someone with prodigious talent and fitting in with brave new England's brand of fearless cricket.

Even Anis Sajan, team mentor of the Delhi Bulls, had spoken in glowing terms about the Somerset youngster, in the build up to the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 League.

And Banton's England teammate and Qalandars' captain Dawid Malan too echoed the same view and said he would be the one to look out for in the future.

"He is a fantastic talent," Malan said of Banton.

"In the last 12 months, he has come on to the scene and he has taken the opportunities he has been given. He is definitely one to look out for the future and hopefully he can keep playing in tournaments like this and keep building on the talent that he has," he added.

After warming up with 16 against Team Abu Dhabi, Banton scored an unbeaten 53 from 28 deliveries with three boundaries and an equal number of sixes as the Qalandars worked off the Northern Warriors.

Banton, who turned 21 on November 11, was the leading scorer in the Vitality Blast - England's county T20 competition. He racked up 549 runs from 340 deliveries, that included 23 sixes.

The opener, also an outstanding wicket-keeper, piled up 454 runs as Somerset won the One-Day Cup. He had scores of 112, 59 and 69, including a 52-ball 100.

His flamboyant batting has earned comparisons with Kevin Pietersen and incumbent wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

And the England selectors rewarded him by picking the youngster in England's T20 squad against New Zealand. Banton, the understudy to Buttler, replaced the latter and made scores of 18, 31 and 7.

Malan, who enjoyed a brilliant series against the Kiwis by scoring 11, 39, 55 and an unbeaten 103, reckoned guys like Banton and 22-year-old left-arm quick George Garton will serve English cricket well.

"We obviously had a squad that was put together quite late but all these cricketers that we have in the team are really good young players that are coming through from either domestic cricket in England and the white-ball cricket in England is very strong at the moment," Malan said about the Qalandars squad which was hurriedly scrambled together after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had denied NOCs to Pakistan players.

"So, these guys are learning really quickly on what they have to do and that's a great sign not only for English cricket but also for the Qalandars here. These guys are hungry to do well, they really want to show off their talent and to compete with the best, So, hopefully, that puts us in good stead for the rest of the tournament that we can keep trying to upstage some of these big teams and especially some of these big names," felt Malan.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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