A YOUNG cricketer has had the opportunity to show off his potential in front of one of the sport’s greatest players.

England cricket team captain Ben Stokes witnessed 16-year-old Josh Brown playing for Cockermouth against champions Furness in the Cumbria League’s premier division.

Stokes was back at Sandair to catch-up with some old friends and watch a bit of cricket as his former club tried to keep pace with Carlisle at the top of the table.

Thanks to young Brown they were able to stay on their tails with a fine seven-wicket win over the south Cumbrians, to set up a tasty home Higson Cup quarter-final with unbeaten Carlisle this afternoon.

Furness had won the toss and opted to bat with Cockermouth’s overseas amateur Mikyle Louis striking an early blow by bowling Joe Amison for nought.

Young Brown then took over to remove four of the top five, including Cumbria opener Sam Dutton who had held firm longest with 29.

Garry Thompson (31) tried to rally the Furness tail but they never really recovered from 48-5, with Brown the chief destroyer and were eventually bowled out for 101 in 46 overs.

Brown finished with the remarkable figures of 8-1-14-5, receiving good support from Matthew Siddall who took 2-11 from his ten overs.

Although they lost Gareth White cheaply, Cockermouth was carried to victory on 103-3 from 22.3 overs with skipper Matthew Sempill (39no), Alex Grainger (21), Tom Norman (21) and Louis finishing it off with 11 not out from four balls. Including a six and a four.

Brown is also a member of the successful Cockermouth Under-16 football team and four teammates were there to support him – and get themselves a photo memento with the England cricket captain!

Stokes made a point, too, of meeting up with David Southward and his wife Rose from Workington. It was David’s father Ike who persuaded Ben’s father Ged Stokes to join Workington Town as a coach and unknowingly at the time change the future of English cricket.

The England captain said: “It’s always nice to come back here because this is where it all started for me.

“No matter how many big games you play in these are the places you remember and the people who were involved here.”