Local schoolboy Blake Cullen has been called up by the England U19 squad for their winter tour of the West Indies, where the team will take part in a tri-series with the host nation and Sri Lanka.

Cullen, who attends Hampton School in South-West London, played for the national age-group side for the first time this summer, taking nine wickets in a tri-series against Bangladesh and India.

He was first selected for Middlesex’s 2nd XI as an U15, and has since been a regular fixture, playing against numerous county stalwarts. Cullen, who bowls medium-fast and is a hard-hitting batsman, was initially selected to go on tour with the U19s last winter, but missed out due to a back injury.

Speaking to Middlesex CCC’s website, Cullen said: “It was definitely a shame last year not being able to go away, but the enjoyment this summer definitely made up for it. It was a great environment to be around and I learnt plenty. 

“I had a great time with the team. I actually found out the news when I was involved in a Middlesex 2nd XI game at Southgate. The call came during the lunch break, and my mind drifted for the rest of the day! It was a great experience overall.

“I’m thrilled to be going away, to be honest! Antigua isn’t a bad place to be spending November and December. I’m really excited to get in that environment again. The challenge of balancing that alongside school stuff will be a bit of a pain, but I’m looking forward to it.

“With a bit of luck, I’ll be able to see what South Africa is about in January for the U19 World Cup!”