Mosun Hussain’s first memories of cricket are watching his father’s beloved Pakistan on TV but the Yorkshire youngster is dreaming of an England call-up.
Hussain, 18, is the latest gun batsman off the Yorkshire production line, impressing with a century and a 50 for the England U19s in their tour of Australia earlier this year.
Since his return to the English summer, Hussain has not let up with 127 for the academy against Hoylandswaine last week and then an even more impressive 104 for the 2nd XI against Northants.
The right-hander, who went to City of Leeds High School, only has to look at the progression of Yorkshire youngsters into the England fold in recent years to see where he might be headed.
But while the likes of Joe Root and Gary Ballance are undoubtedly role models, Hussain has a wise head on young shoulders.
“I know competition is high but the aim is to break through at Yorkshire,” he said. “This is my county that I love and where I grew up so my dream is to get into the first team.
“To do that I know I have to score runs consistently for the 2nd XI and try to make sure I get a playing contract. A lot of quality players come through the academy, I look up to those players and I hope I can follow in their footsteps.
“Guys like Joe Root and Gary Ballance, and then someone like Adil Rashid, seeing them playing in the England team spurs me on.
“That’s the ultimate dream but I know it’s a long way off.
“For me it has always been about being the best player I can be, playing for Yorkshire would be a dream come true and if I can get a contract here then we will focus on the new goal if it comes.”
Hussain has long been tipped for greater things after making his debut for the academy at the age of only 14. And after starting out at Hunslet Nelson, Hussain admits he is desperate to fulfil his promise and make his breakthrough at county level sooner rather than later.
“I grew up around the game, my father Basharat played a bit of cricket,” he said. “Even as a young lad I remember watching the game on TV with my Dad, watching Pakistan games.
“Then when I was around eight, Dad started to take me to the local club Hunslet Nelson and I’ve never really looked back.
“Then I started playing for the academy from the age of about 14 or 15, and from there I was fortunate to be representing my county in my age group all the way through.
“Getting into the academy was great, now it is about performing. I finished school last year and have been focusing on cricket while working on coaching as well.
“The plan is to give cricket a good crack, if not I have got my A-Levels and can go to university. That side of life is very important. But to play cricket and to become a professional is my ambition.”
Next on the horizon for Hussain is the return tour as England U19s welcome Australia this summer.
After drawing the Test but losing the ODI series, Hussain and Co are out for revenge. He said: ‘It’ll be a tough test but the conditions will suit us and the way we play. We want to get one back on them.”
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This piece originally featured in The Cricket Paper on Friday June 19, 2015.