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Teen cricket ace pens first pro deal

All-rounder ‘overwhelmed’ as he signs contract with club he supported as a boy

14 November, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Luke Hollman has signed a two-year pro deal with Middlesex

LUKE Hollman has described the moment he signed his first professional cricket contract as “overwhelming”, adding that it’s an “honour” to move up the ranks within the club he has supported since he was a boy.

The 19-year-old all-rounder, who was born in Islington and now lives in Tufnell Park, put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with Middlesex on Friday. He is a product of the club’s academy and has represented them through the County Age Group set-up since the age of nine.

Luke said: “I am ­massively honoured, overwhelmed, and hugely privileged to have been given the opportunity to sign this contract with Middlesex – my boyhood club and the club that I’ve been a fan of my whole life.”

The contract is the ­latest reward for the hard work that the leg-spinning all-rounder has put in behind the scenes.

Luke made his second XI debut back in the summer of 2017 and has since made more than 25 appearances for them.

He has also collected 15 international caps for England, representing his country at the Under-19s World Cup and in four Under-19s Test matches.

Luke added: “I am really looking forward to the next two years ahead under [Middlesex head coach] Stuart Law and his coaching staff and am hopeful that I can contribute towards some success on the field and help the club realise its ambition of securing a return to Division One of the County Championship.”

The 19-year-old representing England at the Under-19s World Cup

Luke was an instrumental part of the North Midd squad that was crowned Middlesex County Cricket League champions in the summer. At a special dinner to celebrate the achievement last month, he claimed the Ray Wallis young player of the year award, as well as the Premier League player of the year accolade.

Managing director of cricket at Middlesex Angus Fraser said: “Luke thoroughly deserves his rookie ­contract.

“It comes on the back of strong performances for Middlesex’s youth sides, our second eleven and for North Middlesex Cricket Club, who he has helped become a major force in the Middlesex Cricket League.

“His potential as an all-rounder excites everyone at Middlesex and we look forward to him developing into a fine cricketer.

“Luke’s potential continues to be recognised by the Young Lions, England’s Under-19s team, who he is expected to play for in this winter’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.”

Luke first appeared in our pages when he was playing as a goalkeeper for Pro Touch Soccer Academy. But ahead of the Under-19s World Cup at the turn of the year his dad, Peter, told the New Journal that there was really only one sport for the AFC ­Wimbledon fan.

“He’s always loved playing cricket,” said Peter. “When he was younger we would go to Whittington Park in ­Holloway, and when all the footballers would go off at half-time he’d run onto the pitch to bowl a few overs.

“He’s always been obsessed with the sport.

“I can even remember, he must have been about six or seven-years old, and he started crying because we wouldn’t let him stay up late to watch the India ­versus Bangladesh Test match.”

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