A Fylde cricketer’s ascent up the ranks has been given a fresh boost after he was selected for Lancashire’s pre-season tour to Sri Lanka.
Left arm fast bowler Toby Lester, 21, has represented the county at U17 and U19 level but it will be the scholar’s first tour abroad.
Toby, who played at Fylde Cricket Club in Poulton alongside older brothers Adam and Ben, will meet up with the main touring party in Dubai before travelling on to Sri Lanka for the 10-day tour which starts on March 21.
The former Baines High School pupil said: “I was in for training on Tuesday and Ashley Giles brought me to one side, shook my hand and said I was going on tour – I was over the moon.
“It was a shock at first but then I felt pretty proud because I must have done something right in training in order to get the call up.
“It’s a major achievement for me. I’m just overwhelmed and I can’t wait to show what I can do.
“It will be all about getting time in the middle and performing at that level.
“It will be the highest standard I’ve ever played so getting that experience under my belt at the age of 21 will be really beneficial.
“It also comes at a really good time.
“It will be great to be out there for pre-season so I can hit the ground running when I get back.”
Head coach Giles said: “From what I’ve seen he’s got lots of ability, works incredibly hard and is a good kid.
“It’s a great experience for him and if we think he’s got ability then we want to see him perform in the harshest environment – against our best batsman in really difficult conditions for a seamer.
“On the county scene left-arm seamers are a bit like gold dust so he could have a bright future.”
The tour consists of two, two-day matches as well as a 50 over game.
Toby, a final year student at Loughborough University, added: “The wickets will be low and slow and spin quite a bit.
“As a seam bowler I will need to bend my back a bit more to get it through but it will be a good challenge.
“I’ve heard Sri Lanka is a chilled out place so I’m looking forward to seeing the sights, meeting the people and trying out some of the local food.”