5:00pm Friday 4th January 2013
ENGLAND legend Alec Stewart has tipped Essex's Ben Foakes as one of his “six to watch” in 2013.
And he believes the batsman and wicketkeeper, who lives in Kirby-le-Soken, could even replace Matt Prior when he hangs up his Test gloves.
“Foakes’ batting is his strongest suit and it wouldn’t surprise me if he breaks into the Essex side and really kicks on this year,” said former England captain Stewart, the most capped English cricketer of all time in Test matches, on the BBC Sport website.
“His average is nothing to write home about, but the reports I’m hearing from Graham Gooch and other respected voices at Essex are very positive indeed.
“England currently boast the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world in Matt Prior and there are plenty of talented keepers such as Craig Kieswetter, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler in and around the squad.
“But when Prior does call it a day, I believe Foakes could be the one to inherit the Test gloves.
“I’m aware of what a big shout that is, but he’s certainly a player worth watching.
“It’s vital he works at both his batting and glovework in equal amounts as having two strings to your bow is a huge advantage.”
Foakes was recently called up for the England Lions squad for their upcoming tour of Australia.
He shone for England’s Under-19s last year and was rewarded with a place on the England Performance Programme.
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