Harrison Ward: Oxfordshire centurion, 15, dreams of England

By Marie IndgeBBC Kick Off reporter
Harrison Ward
Harrison Ward hit 81 in his second Minor Counties Championship game against Cornwall earlier this week

An Oxfordshire schoolboy who has become the youngest cricketer to score a century for his county says he is dreaming of playing for England.

Harrison Ward, 15, made 109 not outexternal-link on his Minor Counties debut as part of an Oxfordshire side which is challenging for the Western Division title.

"I dream about playing for England," Ward told BBC Sport.

"I really want to be a professional cricketer. I've thought about it since I was young."

Ward also plays for Horspath Cricket Club and first picked up a bat at the age of six, after watching his father play.

He became the second youngest player to be picked for his county last month, and opened the batting against Herefordshire as he reached three figures.

Ward described being called up as "pretty special," and believes that age should not be a barrier to success, adding: "If you're good enough, you're old enough.

"I'm enjoying my cricket and seeing where it takes me. Not everybody makes it but I definitely want to."

Harrison Ward
Ward's favourite batsman is England opener Alastair Cook

Ward is likely to play his third county match on 16 August as Oxfordshire take on Wiltshire in a decisive clash at Devizes.

If they win their final Western Division three-day game, they could reach the Championship final against the Eastern winners.

As he approaches his GCSE exams next spring, Ward accepts there will need to be a balance struck between training and revision, and his family will continue to support him.

"It's not just my sacrifice, it's also theirs," admitted Ward, as they regularly make early starts to get him to training and matches across the region.

But will his England dream remain just that? His captain at Oxfordshire, Luke Ryan, does not think so.

"There's no reason why he can't go all the way," he said. "He's got to knuckle down and do the hard yards, but he's certainly going in the right direction."