THREE of Somerset's most exciting young cricketers - Tom Banton, Tom Lammonby and Fin Trenouth - departed from Heathrow this afternoon (Tuesday) with the rest of the England squad headed for the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, writes Richard Walsh.

All three of the players gave a good account of themselves for the Young Lions before Christmas in South Africa at the Tri-Nations Series, and all have progressed through the Somerset Academy.

Batsman/wicket-keeper Banton, who is 19 years old and signed a two-year contract at the end of 2017, made his senior debut in the NatWest T20 Blast competition last summer.

On debut against Middlesex, he claimed a leg-side stumping to remove Dawid Malan.

Before heading out, Banton said: “I am really looking forward to going to the World Cup and will be trying to put in a few performances early on to make sure I secure a place in all of the games.

“This is a huge opportunity for us all, and we will be looking to set a benchmark early on in the group stages and then hopefully go on to win it.”

Lammonby, a left-handed batsman who also bowls left-arm medium fast is only 17 years old and still on the Somerset Academy, but is already making quite an impression, having being named as Man of the Series against India Under-19s in 2017.

He said: “I am just so lucky to get an opportunity like this to go and play against the best in the world and in warm weather as well.

"This is the World Cup and we are all going out to New Zealand to win; that’s the only thing that we will be aiming for.

"We will be disappointed if we don’t win it, but at the same time we know there are some other very strong teams with their minds set on the same outcome."

Trenouth is a 19-year-old hard-hitting right-handed batsman who can also keep wicket, and he signed a one-year Somerset contract at the end of the 2017 season.

He commented: "It's a seriously exciting thought to be going out there and having the chance to play with your mates and win the World Cup.

"I have had a pretty crazy 18 months since I scored my 300 and got onto the Academy, which was a pretty big step for me, since when it's just got better and better.

“It’s a massive honour to go out to New Zealand and wear the England badge on your helmet, and the fact that it’s a World Cup makes it that more special."

Andy Hurry, the Somerset director of cricket who worked with the Somerset trio last summer in his former capacity as head of the England Development Programme, said: “As a club we are incredibly proud to have three young men involved in the England Under-19 World Cup squad who are looking to make their way into the professional game.

"They have a great opportunity to showcase their skills on an international stage.

“To be successful out in New Zealand they will have to adapt their games to the conditions and that will be a great challenge for them to overcome.

"However, knowing the three guys like I do, there is no doubt in my mind that they will have an impact on helping England Under-19 to win games and helping the team to go a long way to secure that elusive World Cup.”

England play two warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and Ireland, before facing Namibia in their first game in the World Cup on January 15.