SOMERSET CCC's young spin bowler Shoaib Bashir has had a big year in 2023, which culminated in him being selected for the England Lions training camp next month.

In what was his first year as a professional cricketer, Bashir made his debut for Somerset in all three formats of the game, and impressed while doing so.

He made himself a favourite amongst the fans for his bowling ability but also his aggressive skills with the bat.

And his performances must have impressed the ECB as well as he got the call up to go on the England Lions training camp in the UAE next month.

Speaking on the call up, Bashir said: “When I got the call, I was very surprised.”

He explained to Somerset CCC website: "I’m very grateful to get this opportunity and I’m excited to get started. There are a few spinners in the group, so it will be good to speak with them and pick their brains a little bit.

“When I’m out there I’ll continue to work hard and take as much from the experience as I can and bring that back with me. Hopefully, it will help to develop my game further and help me mentally and physically.”

Shoaib will be joined at the camp by teammate James Rew, who for those who don't know, is one of Bashir's good friends amongst the Somerset squad.

“James is one of my best mates at the Club and he’s had an outstanding season, so it’s no surprise that he’s been included. He’s a special guy, and one of the highlights of my season was our century partnership. I’m really pleased for him that he’s been called up too.”

The 20-year-old, who claimed 17 wickets this summer, also briefly reflected on everything that’s happened to him in the last year and a half.

“The last 18 months has been so special,” he said. “To have made my debut in all three formats, to have won the Blast and now to get this call up to train with the England lions is incredible.

“I’m just going to keep working hard, learning and making the most of opportunities like this.”

England Men’s Performance Director, Mo Bobat, said: “At the end of an enjoyable season and after close dialogue with players and counties, it’s exciting to confirm our group that will travel to Abu Dhabi for a training camp later this year.

“In selecting the group, we’ve carefully considered England’s short and long-term needs in Test cricket, particularly with sub-continent challenges in mind.

“It’s quite a large group and it’s great that we can support player development in this way for what should be a fun camp.”