After starting the season with a squad with the average age of a World War One veteran, we are now beginning to see the emergence of some fresh blood. The youngsters are being introduced gradually and it seems to be working and Foxes fans have been given teasing glimpses of what we have in store for the future.
Stuart Broad is the name on everyone's lips at the moment. The 19 year old seam bowler has made a fantastic impact in the Championship side this season which has culminated in his selection for the England U-19 team. HD Ackerman told me recently that Broad is a fantastic talent and he expects him to be a major player next season and fully expects him to progress into the full England set up in the future. Broad has taken 18 first class wickets in six matches for the County this season at an impressive average of 27.05. Also Stuart is expected to develop into a useful batsmen in the No.7 or No.8 slot mould.
Tom New has been knocking on the door for two or three years despite still being just 20 years old. The left handed wicket-keeper/ batsman has now cemented a place in the Totesport League side as a batsman alone and has now notched over 200 runs in the competition this season at an average of just under 30. As a slow scoring batsmen, New's style would seem more suited to Championship cricket but his chances have been surprisingly limited in this format despite a recent 50 at Grace Road versus Lancashire. New signed for the County at the tender age of 16 after progressing through the Nottinghamshire junior system and there is enough talent within his strokeplay to suggest he will be the natural successor to the ageing Paul Nixon.
Ryan Cummins has just burst onto the scene at Grace Road by taking 8 wickets in two Championship matches at an average of only 17. The 21 year old recently signed a two year contract with the County after finishing his studies at Loughborough where he was a regular performer in their UCCE side. Surrey born Cummins does not possess genuine pace but is a brisk medium pacer who relies on his precision.
Despite not being as young as the afore mentioned, 23 year old Jim Allenby has broken though into the Foxes 20/20 side in a short space of time. Originally with the club on an extended trial, the Australian born all rounder won a contract after impressing during a 20/20 warm up match versus celebrity team Lashings. Allenby has the potential to score quick runs and is also an excellent fielder.
A name that you might not be so familiar with is that of Paul Harrison. The 21 year old is also a product of the Loughborough UCCE and has been in sparkling form the second XI this season. Expect to see the Sussex born batsman make his first team debut before the end of the season.
With quite a few of the first team squad approaching their last few seasons as professionals we are definitely safe in the knowledge that the future is very bright indeed.