Youngster Panayi gets England call

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Skipper Rob Foster insists George Panayi’s first call up to the England under-17 squad has come as no surprise to anyone at Shrewsbury Cricket Club.

Fast bowler Panayi, a student at Shrewsbury School, has been selected for the young England tour to Dubai in February to play against Pakistan’s under-17s.

Foster predicts a bright future for Panayi, who played plenty of second team cricket for Shrewsbury last summer, while he was also given a taste of first team action in the Birmingham League’s premier division.

The captain reckons Panayi, 17, will be pushing for a regular first team place at London Road next summer, particularly as Shrewsbury have lost the services of another promising paceman in Dewi Jones.

Jones has been told he must now play his club cricket in South Wales after signing a contract with Glamorgan, for whom he made his first-class debut against Middlesex in July while he was a Shrewsbury player.

Panayi, also a member of the Warwickshire CCC Academy, hails from Hertfordshire but opted to play his club cricket for Shrewsbury owing to the close relationship the club enjoy with Shrewsbury School.

“He’s a hugely exciting cricketer,” said Foster. “He played a few league games for the first team last year and has also played some knockout games.

“He’s a very quick bowler for his age and he’s got a very good skill set in that he can bowl yorkers and bouncers. He’s also a useful batsman so he’s a very good all round cricketer and nothing really fazes him.

“I would imagine when he’s free of Shrewsbury School commitments next summer that he will be banging down the door to be involved with our first team.”

Foster added Shrewsbury were disappointed to lose Jones after a single season but completely understood the reasons behind his departure and that they wished him well in his pursuit of a successful career in first-class cricket with Glamorgan.

“Obviously, Glamorgan have strong ties with the Welsh clubs and having given Dewi a contract, they want him to be with a club down there,” said Foster.

“It’s a shame to have lost him but it’s for good reasons as Dewi is doing well with Glamorgan.

“He really enjoyed the time he spent at Shrewsbury and took wickets and also contributed with the bat down the order.”

Meanwhile, Andy Barnard, the master in charge of cricket at Shrewsbury School, said Panayi’s international recognition was richly deserved.

“George has worked hard and long for this exciting selection,” said Barnard. “He becomes Shrewsbury School’s fifth national age group selection in the last ten years.”

Current Shrewsbury first teamer Ed Barnard, who also plays for Worcestershire, represented England under-19s in the last two years.

Rhuadri Smith, now with Glamorgan, played for Scotland under-19s in 2012/13.

Going further back, James Taylor, who is still attached to Shrewsbury CC, played for England U17s during his Shrewsbury School days in 2007 and also the under-19s in 2009.

Taylor is currently playing for the senior England One Day International team in Sri Lanka and top scored with 90 in last Sunday’s six-wicket defeat, his first appearance of the tour.

Scott Ellis also represented Shrewsbury School with disctinction when he played for England’s under-19s in 1994.

Barnard added: “Having narrowly missed out on selection for the Bunbury Festival two years ago, George’s outstanding performances at Shrewsbury School, where he was the leading all-rounder last season, and for Warwickshire CCC and Shrewsbury CC have promoted him into national selection.

“The hard work carried out with Paul Pridgeon, the School’s cricket professional, has helped develop George’s game and effectiveness on the pitch.”

Panayi is currently on tour in the United Arab Emirates with Shrewsbury School.

“The trip will be excellent preparation for his upcoming matches against Pakistan under-17s, one of the strongest age group teams in the world,” stressed Barnard.

Adam Shantry

Adam Shantry becomes Shrewsbury’s Head Coach

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

Ambitious Shrewsbury have appointed former professional cricketer Adam Shantry as their new head coach as they set their sights on more success.

The London Road club, Birmingham League champions in 2010 and 2013, are delighted to have secured the services of Shantry, who enjoyed a successful career as a left-arm bowler in the first-class game with Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Glamorgan.

Shantry, 32, will work closely with both the club’s senior players and also the host of exciting young talent within Shrewsbury’s junior programme.

There is also the prospect that he might play the occasional match for the first team although he will have to take into account his fitness having been forced to retire from the professional game owing to a knee injury.

“Shrewsbury’s a great club and I’m really excited to be involved,” said Shantry, these days a cricket coach at Shrewsbury School who also works for the Glamorgan Academy.

“I can still play just about, but I’m joining the club primarily as a coach. What Shrewsbury have achieved already is fantastic and I just want to help add to that.

“There’s plans to improve the youth system and I’m looking forward to improving training for the seniors and making it as fun and as interesting as possible.

“I spent five winters playing for clubs in Australia and they would often have more than 40 people training twice a week in the evening for two hours.

“I want to get more people wanting to attend senior training, get the numbers up, stay for a drink afterwards and really build the team spirit.”

Shrewsbury’s free-scoring opening batsman Ed Foster insisted the county town club were excited to have Shantry on board.

“We’re hoping he can take us to another level,” said Foster. “We’re really pleased that Adam’s coming in. It’s a big step for the club and it’s not something we’ve done since Ross Stephen used to come over from Australia.

“We’re looking for our junior programme to really develop under Adam while he will also work with the club’s senior players.

“Adam will deliver and implement a coaching programme for our junior members so he can really put his stamp on the sessions.

“We also plan to hold training camps for both junior members and non-club members during the summer holidays to give more youngsters the chance to play cricket and potentially get involved with the club.

“Adam’s very excited about it and looking forward to it.

“It’s great for us to have secured the services of a reputable coach and he may even play for us in some games when he’s free of other commitments with Shrewsbury School.”

Shantry comes from a big cricketing family as his dad Brian used to play professionally for Gloucestershire.

His younger brother Jack, 26, a former Shrewsbury player, opens the bowling for Worcestershire and played a key role in their recent promotion to the first division of the County Championship.

Shantry started his cricket career locally with Perkins (now Reman Services) and also represented Shropshire before breaking through to the first-class game with Northants.

He then moved to Edgbaston to play for Warwickshire before a successful spell at Glamorgan where he hit his maiden first-class century.