Winterbourne cricketer James selected for England Lions tour
A CRICKETER who grew up and learned his game in Winterbourne is celebrating being selected for England's Lions tour at the end of his first full season as a professional.
James Bracey is set to tour Australia with the Lions – the team at the level just below the full test team – for six weeks from February.
It follows a first full season as a professional for the 22-year-old left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper, who has been a member of Winterbourne Cricket Club since the age of seven.
Involved in the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club set-up from the age of 11, James joined their academy and made his first class debut in 2016.
He attended the Ridings, now Winterbourne Academy, then SGS College, combining study and cricket under the guidance of the former Gloucestershire player and academy director Tim Hancock.
At Loughborough University James was a key member of the very successful MCC Universities team in both red and white ball cricket.
His appearances for Gloucestershire's 1st XI include a 150 against Glamorgan and a century at Lord's, the home of cricket.
Graduating in 2018, he spent the winter of 2018-2019 playing grade cricket in Perth, where he made the Western Australia cricket team of the season before his first full season as a professional in 2019, appearing for Gloucestershire in all three formats.
In June he was selected to play for England Lions against Australia A at Canterbury with two encouraging batting performances and keeping wicket for one innings.
James's mum and Winterbourne CC stalwart Liz Bracey said: "Expecting to return to Australia for the winter, James was delighted to be selected for a ECB development training camp for three weeks in Mumbai and, following this, even more so to be one of seven players selected for both the red and white ball squads for the Lions tour to Australia.
"This will provide a wonderful experience and good preparation for the new season with Gloucestershire facing their first season back in the first division of the county championship."
Congratulations for James have been pouring in via social media.
He told followers that he was "buzzing" at the news.