BRAD TAYLOR is eyeing up a place in the England Lions squad in the next few years.
Winchester-born Taylor is on a development contract at Hampshire and has been highly touted since a young age.
The off-spinner made his first-class debut for the Ageas Bowl outfit aged just 16 in a 40-over match against Lancashire and dismissed former Australia international Simon Katich.
Taylor suffered an ankle ligament injury last April which ruled him out for a large chunk of the 2016 season.
Hampshire finished second bottom of the County Championship division one and only survived relegation because of Durham’s financial woes.
But the 20-year-old is coming into the new campaign in rude health after spending the winter playing grade A cricket in Australia.
Taylor is relishing the opportunity to work with South Africa duo Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw and Aussie George Bailey, who have all joined Hampshire for the new season.
And his ultimate goal is to make it into the Lions squad.
Taylor said: ‘The experience that has come in now is pretty amazing.
‘This year it will be amazing to have these kind of lads around the changing room.
‘It is international experience that you can tap into.
‘The way they train, tactically what they know about the game, what they’ve seen other players do is all definitely going to help.
‘I had a bad injury last year so I want to play as many first-team games as I can.
‘We don’t like making excuses but we had a lot of injuries last season.
‘We’ve got a full-strength side this year with even more additions so we’re looking very good for the season ahead.
‘I had a good winter in Australia and we had a good inter-squad game on Tuesday.
‘In an ideal world I will play first-team games this year and hopefully make it onto the Lions team.
‘That’s what I’m striving towards whether it is this year or in a few years’ time.’