Gleeson backing Northants teammate Duckett for international return

Gleeson backing Northants teammate Duckett for international return

Richard Gleeson of Northants poses for a picture with the Royal London One-Day Cup

Ben Duckett will be back in an England shirt before too long – that’s according to his Northants teammate Richard Gleeson.

Duckett’s England bow on the tour to India and Bangladesh back in the winter of 2016 feels like a long time ago now.

The 23-year-old struggled to impose himself on the sub-continent as Ravi Ashwin and co tied him in knots and the left-hander has yet to return to the international fold.

He has not started this summer in great nick either, with a top score of just 38 from his eight innings in the County Championship.

But Gleeson insists that the once-ill-disciplined youngster is back on the straight and narrow and will be back on England’s radar in no time.

“He is young, he has youth on his side and is immensely talented, he can hit the ball anywhere in the ground,” said the 30-year-old.

“I am backing him to get back in an England shirt at some point.

“I think India is a tough place to go and play, against some of the best players in the world.

“He went into a very hard environment and did well against Bangladesh in the first leg of the tour, so I am sure he will come back from it.

“He has got on with things back at Northants, he is in the gym more and working hard on his game and doing all the right things to get back there.”

While the red-ball has not gone as planned for Duckett, the Royal London One-Day Cup returns this week.

Northants open up against Leicestershire and the Steelbacks, finalists and champions in two of the last three t20 Blasts and quarter-finalists in the 2016 RL Cup, are an impressive white-ball force.

That could be just the push that Duckett needs to get back to the form of 2016 that saw him hit more than 2,000 runs across the three formats.

“We were a bit unfortunate last year with a few injuries,” added Gleeson.

“I missed most of the competition, especially with the World Cup next year, a lot of people are trying to put their hand up, stake a claim and impress for next summer.

“We are pretty clear on our white ball cricket which is really important to us, we want to get the crowds in and we are trying to entertain, bowl fast, spin the ball and hit sixes.

“We are going to lose games, especially in the short form, but you have to take risks and that is what we are about. But we want to get people involved.”

Royal London, proud sponsors of one-day cricket, celebrating unconventional greatness in the game by championing the independent spirit of players like Northamptonshire Steelbacks’ Richard Gleeson. The Royal London One-Day Cup returns on 17th May.

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