Kettleborough’s record breaking services retained by Middlesex

BEDFORD School cricketer James Kettleborough has been retained in the Middlesex Academy squad for the new season, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 17-year-old from Old Warden enjoyed a successful summer with the club and captained the U17 side to National success against Nottinghamshire at Canterbury.

He intends to complete his contract with the Lord’s club this season and will then an important decision on his future, if he is offered something permanent.

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He said: “It’s a good club to be at. There’s a good atmosphere and its a laugh before training starts, then everyone takes it very seriously.

“I’ve been at the Academy and it’s a very good level there.

“Some of the players are excellent and will go on to play at the highest level I think.

“I’m 17 now and in my last year of school. I’ve got a two year contract which is up in September, so I need to make a big effort this season.

“I would like to go to Uni as from what I’ve heard, the level they play is similar to first class.

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“But if I get offered the chance to sign a full-time contract, then it’s something I would have to seriously look at.”

It was quite a season for Kettleborough last year as he broke former Bedford School student Alastair Cook’s record for most runs in a 1st XI season.

With Cook currently one of the stars of England’s Ashes series in Australia, then Kettleborough would love to follow emulate the Essex opener. He said: I started off really well last year and it was good to be in such form. “If I can follow in his footsteps I’d be more than pleased.

“He is doing amazing at the moment and I’ve watched a bit if the Ashes and I think he’s doing so well.”

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Those run-scoring exploits saw Kettleborough win the Sporting Schoolboy of the Year award, sponsored by Maude Sports.

He said: “I didn’t really know too much about it. I think the school put me up for it and I think I beat about 100-150 people.

“It was a massive achievement to win the award.”

Kettleborough made his Bedfordshire Minor Counties debut two seasons ago, but only managed to play twice during the campaign just gone.

He scored 128 runs in four innings and hopes to be a more permanent resident in the side this season.

He added: “Hopefully I’ll play for Beds a bit more now.

“I made my debut two years ago and I’m looking to be more available now and make my name a bit more in Minor Counties cricket.”