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Cricket: England in safe hands with Duvies says Bumpy.

Byline: By HARRY NOBLE

WORCESTERSHIRE director of cricket Steve Rhodes believes wicketkeeper Steven Davies would "take the chance with two hands" if he made the senior England breakthrough after the World Cup.

Davies, 22, has already established himself in the England 'A' side where he shares the wicket-keeping duties with Sussex's Matt Prior.

He has shown he is a capable performer with the bat and scored more than 1,000 first-class runs for The Pears batting at number six in his first full season in 2006.

With Paul Nixon 37 in October, an opportunity with England could soon be on the horizon after the apparent discarding of Geraint Jones and Chris Read by Duncan Fletcher.

Former England 'keeper Rhodes said: "I don't know what the England selectors are thinking. None of us will do until the end of this World Cup. But Steven is a very talented cricketer - an all-rounder - and that is the important thing to stress.

"We bat him in the top six at the moment, although England A don't. He is a genuine batsman who also keeps wicket as a genuine wicket-keeper. He has got so much potential.

"He is going to get better but, given the England chance now, am sure he would do OK. He is the type of guy who would swim, not sink. He will be better in a year's time but his natural progression is only one way."

Rhodes added: "Will Steven get a chance? There are 18 keepers in England and the likes of Matt Prior will be pushed should they not go back to Chris Read. James Foster is always being pushed.

"Prior shares the wicket-keeping responsibilities with Steven with England A. He has kept wicket more than Steve and that might be the way the selectors are thinking.

"To me Steven is a better player than Read and Foster were at the same age as he is now (20). All I do know is he is going to be a super player in a year or two.

"But as a keeper, there is only one in the side and it's all about taking your chance when you get it.

"If he were given that chance, he'd take it with two hands and then it's a case of 'away you go and look after those gloves'."

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PRAISE: Steve Rhodes
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2007
Words:391
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