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Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Thursday, 2 December 2010

Devon's Lewis Gregory is honoured by England call

Lewis Gregory
Teenage all-rounder Lewis Gregory started his career with Plympton

Devon cricketer Lewis Gregory's dream of playing for England at senior level has come a step closer after being named his country's Under-19s captain.

The teenage Somerset all-rounder was this week chosen to lead England's Under-19 tour to Sri Lanka in January.

"I'm over the moon to be named captain, but also a bit nervous at the same time," said Plymouth-born Gregory.

"It's a massive honour. Hopefully I'll do it justice and get some good results," he told BBC Devon.

Having first come to attention in club cricket for Plympton, before being picked for Devon's Minor Counties team, Gregory also earned a place in Somerset's academy.

And Somerset Academy director Jason Kerr said that, right from a young age, Gregory, who has been on the staff at Taunton playing second XI cricket for more than two years, has demonstrated the right attributes for success.

"Within the environment here, Lewis takes everything in his stride," said Kerr.

"We look at the character of individuals before we look at their talent, and Lewis is cool and calm.

"If you combine that with his work ethic then he's a great example to young players, as he remains tremendously focused."

Lewis can be as good as he wants to be, he works incredibly hard and has a fantastic attitude

Jason Kerr

In his early days at Plympton, Gregory excelled as a batsman. But he has worked hard on his bowling, as he showed when he took four wickets for England Under-19s in the drawn two-test series against Sri Lanka in July.

"People have always seen me as a batsman," said Gregory. "But, in the last couple of years, I've developed as a bowler.

"I think it requires more time and dedication to do both, because obviously you're practising two different skills.

"If I could have a career half as good as Jacques Kallis than I'd be happy.

"He's a genuine all-rounder, one of the best in the world. He isn't flamboyant, but does a huge amount with both bat and ball."

Such an aim means a lot of hard work ahead for the young all-rounder, who made his Somerset first team debut in a 50-over match against Pakistan in September, taking 4-49 before being bowled by Umar Gul for a second ball duck.

But Somerset Academy boss Kerr believes that he could one day fulfil such ambitions.

"Lewis can be as good as he wants to be," said Kerr. "He works incredibly hard and has a fantastic attitude."

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