English batter Banton eyes T20 World Cup

Adrian Warren
Tom Banton guided Brisbane Heat to victory over Sydney Thunder in Monday's BBL clash

Big-hitting Tom Banton has won the admiration of one of his rivals for an England T20 position and hopes his Big Bash stint will help him return to Australia for the World Cup later this year.

The belligerent right-hander showcased his power with a spectacular 56 off just 19 balls in Brisbane's 16-run BBL win over Sydney Thunder on Monday.

The 21-year-old smashed 14 off the first three balls of the match at Sydney Showground Stadium and hit spinner Arjun Nair for five successive sixes.

Banton made his first three T20 appearances for England in New Zealand in November 2019.

He got his first call-up to the England ODI squad for their series in South Africa next month, although he was omitted from the T20 party for their matches against the Proteas.

The T20 World Cup in October and November is on Banton's radar and he has gained invaluable experience of Australian conditions in his stint with Brisbane.

'The wickets are a bit different, a bit bouncier to back home," Banton said.

"The Gabba is obviously a good wicket, I've only played there once, which is a bit annoying.

"But i've learnt a lot and it's been good fun."

It has been an up and down BBL series for Banton, who thumped 64 off 36 balls against Melbourne Stars.

He was dismissed for single figures scores in his last two matches before his whirlwind innings on Monday.

"The last two games have been disappointing for me, obviously low scores, but I think the way I play thats probably going to happen a lot throughout my career," Banton said.

He has only faced 77 balls across his five BBL innings but has scored 151 runs at an average of 30 and an impressive strike rate of 196, having hit 13 sixes and ten fours.

Banton's ball striking on Monday was described as amazing by compatriot Alex Hales, who was playing for Thunder.

"He looks a serious talent, he's only a young lad as well, so the world is at his feet," Hales said.

Hales has played 60 T20 games for England though he hasn't been selected since March 2019.

Banton and himself are among the batsmen currently pushing to get back into the squad.

'Your opposite numbers are technically rivals, but to see a young lad come out and play like that on the big stage (on Monday) is brilliant and I'm looking forward to watching him for the next ten years,"' Hales said.