Josh de Caires, the 21-year-old son of former England captain Mike Atherton, has been selected for the England Lions squad. De Caires, who uses his mother's maiden name, will join the 21-man squad for a three-week training camp in Abu Dhabi next month. Atherton believes that using his mother's surname has helped reduce pressure and attention on De Caires in his cricket career so far.
Impressive performances with the bat and ball
De Caires started his career as a top-order batsman but has gained selection for the Lions primarily because of his off-spin bowling. He recently took a ten-wicket haul against Essex and has contributed useful runs down the order in the County Championship. With seven spin options in the squad, De Caires adds depth to England's bowling lineup.
Developing the red-ball game
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) performance director, Mo Bobat, stated that the training camp in Abu Dhabi will provide an excellent opportunity for the players to develop their red-ball game. The camp will also allow the coaching staff to learn more about the players both on and off the field. Bobat emphasized that the selection of the squad was based on England's short and long-term needs in Test cricket, particularly with sub-continent challenges in mind.
Following in the family's cricketing footsteps
Atherton's wife's family runs a newspaper in Guyana, and De Caires' great-grandfather, Frank, played three Tests for the West Indies in the 1930s. Despite his family's cricketing legacy, Atherton has given De Caires the space to develop his game without interference. De Caires expressed his pride in his father's achievements but is focused on carving out his own path in the sport.