Will will travel with the players to Cape Town for the two-week trip and have the opportunity to train and play with the first team alongside the likes of Jofra Archer, Luke Wells and Luke Wright and develop a relationship with Sussex’s new Head Coach, Jason Gillespie.

Sussex Cricket’s Academy Director, Carl Hopkinson, said: “Joining the squad’s pre-season tour will be an invaluable experience for Will.”

“The trip to South Africa will give him a further taste of the demands on a professional cricketer and an indication of where he is in comparison to our first team squad.”

Will became the first boy from the Aldridge Cricket Academy to join the Sussex Boys’ Academy when he was included in this year’s intake. A left-arm swing bowler and useful lower-order batsman, Will combines his sixth form studies with a dedicated cricket programme at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA).

Sussex Cricket has close links with BACA. The Aldridge Foundation sponsors Sussex Cricket’s boys and girls junior and Academy squads and Sussex Women and the state-of-the-art Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre at BACA’s Falmer campus is home to Sussex’s girls and women’s sides. Sussex also share expertise with the Aldridge Cricket Academy on all aspects of cricket from coaching to groundskeeping, including sharing a strength and conditioning coach.

Will is the second student from an Aldridge Foundation school to gain a place on Sussex Cricket’s Academies. Tara Norris was accepted onto the girls’ Academy for the 2016 season whilst a student at the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA). Tara has gone on to become an important member of the Sussex Women’s team.

Alexia Walker, Aldridge Cricket Academy Director said: “This is a great achievement for Will who has shown a lot of potential and has worked very hard since joining the Aldridge Cricket Academy last year. Both Will and Tara’s development have benefitted from the close links the ACA has with Sussex Cricket including our shared coaching and strength & conditioning staff. I expect more of our talented male and female players to follow them into the County set up in the future.”

I am very pleased to be selected for this tour. It will be a great experience for me and I am really looking forward to the challenge of training and playing at a higher level of cricket.

Will Sheffield