Former England coach tips Bears pair to play for England – but who will be first?

Two of Warwickshire’s young batsmen will be fighting it out to see which of them plays for England first, according to a man who should know – Paul Farbrace, a former assistant coach of the national team.

Farbrace made the prediction about Dan Mousley, 19, and Rob Yates, 21, who have emerged through the player pathway at Edgbaston and are now looking to push on.

Yates, who started with the county at Under-10 level, is ahead in terms of age and experience having played 17 first-class matches to Mousley’s three. He reached the first team in 2019, scoring his first century in county cricket on his way to accumulating 570 runs in 12 matches. Mousley, meanwhile, has already represented England in the under-19 World Cup – scoring a hundred against Sri Lanka in the Plate Final in February last year – and holds a T20 world record.

That came in the Vitality Blast last September, when he was involved in a fifth-wicket stand of 171 from 99 balls with Adam Hose against Nottinghamshire, his share an unbeaten 58 from 44 balls as Hose notched a century.

That sense of expectation was heightened when he was also named by Wisden magazine recently as one of nine uncapped players to keep an eye on this season.

Farbrace, now the Warwickshire director of cricket, said of the pair, both left-handers: “In Yates and Mousley, I think we have two of the best young batsmen in the county game. I think it is going to be a race between them to see who plays for England first.”

In an interview with the Warwickshire website, he added: “They have both got very good techniques but what impresses me more than anything about them is that they have fantastic mindsets.

“They are very intelligent cricketers and very independent lads who know what they want and how to go about getting it. I am really looking forward to seeing them kick on over the next couple of years.”

Mousley, who made his county championship debut five days after his 18th birthday in 2019, signed a new three-year contract with the club last December extending his stay at Edgbaston, where he started as an eight-year-old, to the end of 2023.