Cricket: Billy takes the family Root to the top

Billy Root, left, and Matt Root of Sheffield Collegiate
Billy Root, left, and Matt Root of Sheffield Collegiate

He has watched his big brother make a name for himself with Yorkshire, before making his England test debut for England in India over the winter.

Now, Billy Root - younger brother of Yorkshire star Joe - wants a piece of the action too.

The 20-year-old, a former member of Yorkshire’s academy, has been named in Mark Alleyne’s eighteen-man MCC Young Cricketers squad for the 2013 season.

The squad will compete in the North Division of the ECB’s Second XI competitions in 2013, and will attend a world-class pre-season training camp alongside a combined MCC Universities team in Abu Dhabi next month.

“Billy had some glimpses last year where he was absolutely brilliant,” former Gloucestershire captain Alleyne said.

“The main thing for us and for Billy is to join those brilliant bits a bit closer. But he’s working hard, he’s got a good work ethic and he’s an exciting cricketer.

“He’s just learning the game, and this is a good place to service your apprenticeship which will stand you in good stead for first-class cricket.”

Older brother Joe, meanwhile, is odds-on at bookmakers Ladbrokes to succeed Alastair Cook as England captain.

The 22-year-old is 5/6 to captain the England test side during his career, and is 6/1 to be England’s top run scorer during the Ashes.

Joe is 12/1 to be named man of the series - and can even be backed at 33/1, down from 200/1, to win the 2013 Sports Personality of the Year award.

“Joe is the natural successor to Cook as far as the odds are concerned,” Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes, said.

“Punters are already rooting for Joe to do the business this summer.”

Joe scored an unbeaten 79 not out as England beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second One Day International on Wednesday morning.

Joe was handed an England incremental contract earlier this week - and hopes to establish himself in the test side before the test match against New Zealand at Headingley in May.

“It would mean a lot to play for England at Headingley,” Joe said.

“It’s my home venue so it would be very special.

“To play in any test match is a great honour, but I want to play at Headingley.”