Rainford-Brent with Oval new boys

THE England women batsman Ebony Rainford-Brent has been drafted into the Surrey Academy for 2010 as the only female among six players.

Rainford-Brent joins Zafar Ansari, Matthew Dunn, George Edwards, Shaun Cousens and Freddie Vanden Burgh as the new intake at the Pemberton Greenish Academy, having risen in prominence as a member of a successful squad who won the World Cup, the World Twenty20 and retained the Ashes this year.

Surrey disclosed that for the first time, from the start of this year’s winter training programme, the academy would be fully integrated with Surrey’s professional programme, so that eminent former England and Surrey players such as Graham Thorpe, Alec Stewart, Chris Adams, Ian Salisbury and Martin Bicknell will be coaching. The Academy director is Gareth Townsend.

Gus Mackay, Surrey’s cricket managing director, said: “We are proud to announce this squad, who we see as the future of Surrey cricket. It is important that we continue to develop home- grown talent as we work on rebuilding the club. This is one of the most important group of players we have here and hopefully, with the changes we have made within Surrey Cricket over the last 12 months, they can now see a much clearer pathway to becoming professional cricketers.”

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