James Vince has spoken of his pride after he was named England Lions captain for their five-match one-day series against South Africa A which begins on Sunday.
The Hampshire batsman takes the reins from Jonathan Trott, who led the tourists in the two unofficial Tests against the Proteas.
Vince, who skippered his county in the Friends Life t20 last summer, smashed a brilliant 152 not out to help England draw the second of those four-day games.
And now he is relishing the chance to lead the squad into battle as his international stock rises.
‘It was a huge honour when our coach, Mark Robinson, asked me if I would lead the team,’ said Vince, who topped the County Championship run charts last summer.
‘I have played under some great captains both at Hampshire and with the Lions and I really enjoyed the captaincy experience I gained at Hampshire last summer.
‘We have already seen from the four-day games that South Africa are tough opponents.
‘And if anything their squad for the one-day series looks ever stronger.
‘But we also have some new faces in our squad and it is a challenge we are all relishing.’
While Trott was not selected in the 50-over squad, Vince will be joined by the likes of Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Stephen Parry – who have been playing in the Big Bash t20 in Australia.
The series will begin at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The Lions then move on to Kimberley, Potchefstroom and Pretoria, before the tour climaxes at Benoni on Thursday, February 5.
Following his stunning century on Wednesday, Vince is in prime form ahead of the return to one-day cricket.
His crucial knock, which included 22 fours and a six, was his first ton for the Lions and followed up a half century in the first unofficial Test.
And Vince is keen to keep reminding the England selectors of his talents.
‘On the Lions tour you are always looking to push your name forward,’ he said.
‘By getting a few runs out here, I don’t think it will do me any harm.
‘I’m hoping to continue some good form into this one-day series now and then into the summer at home.’