The son of a Barbadian and godson of National Hero Sir Garfield Sobers has moved a possible step closer to playing for the England senior cricket team.
Keith Barker, the Warwickshire all-rounder, has received his first call-up to the England Lions side to play against the touring Australians in a two-day match starting at Wantage Road, Northampton, on August 16.
Barker is currently enjoying a notable all-round campaign with the defending champions Warwickshire, where he is part of their formidable pace attack. Although he has had a truncated summer due to injury he has taken 25 wickets at 18.64 in the Championship this year alongside scoring 292 runs at 48.66.
Principally a left-arm medium-fast bowler, Barker has taken 109 first-class wickets in 38 matches at an average 25.18 with six five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket match haul. He has scored 1 154 runs at an average of 30.36 with three centuries.
Barker, 26, switched to cricket at age 21 after initially setting his sights on a football career. As a striker, Barker represented England at U-18, U-19 and U-20 level and then signed on for Blackburn Rovers.
Born in Lancashire, the imposing six-footer is the son of the late Keith Barker, formally of Bayfield, St. Philip who played two first-class matches for then British Guiana in the early 1960s before migrating to England. He died in Lancashire in 2008. (WG)