Hamza Ali: Tributes after fast bowler dies aged 20

Hamza Ali
Hamza Ali made his first-class debut for Hampshire against Cardiff University in April

Tributes have been paid following the death of fast bowler Hamza Ali at the age of 20.

Ali, born and educated in Bristol, was recently on trial at Hampshire and also played for the MCC Young Cricketers.

He died after getting into difficulties while swimming in the River Avon on Wednesday evening.

"We would like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Hamza's family at this very sad time," MCC head coach Steve Kirby said.

"In the short time he was with the squad, he made quite an impact on all of us, on and off the field, with his friendly, positive outlook.

"Hamza greatly impressed us with his energy, enthusiasm and exceptional all-round talent."

Police say they were called to the river at Saltford in Somerset at 17:20 BST on Wednesday and although Ali taken to hospital for treatment, he later died.

Ali made his first-class debut for Hampshire in April against Cardiff MCCU, taking 2-59 in the match.

Darren Sammy on Twitter
West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy paid this tribute on social media

Hampshire players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect during their T20 Blast match against Surrey at The Oval later on Thursday.

Speaking about Ali, Hampshire all-rounder Gareth Berg told BBC Radio Solent: "A fantastic lad and it's a real shame to hear of the news. He was 100% committed as a bowler and as a player.

"I captained him a couple of weeks ago. He's been trialling and playing a few second team games with us.

"He was a pleasure to captain as I haven't seen many trialists like him at his age, that knew exactly what he wanted to do with the ball.

"It's a real shame as he was a talented cricketer and I was really hoping that good things would come to him."