BEING the “next great hope” of any generation can be a heavy burden to bear.
It is a label that has been indiscriminately thrown around since the dawn of time, and in the cliché-heavy world of sport it is greatly overused.
But Sunderland-born Scott Borthwick remains undaunted at having heavy expectations placed upon his young shoulders.
An English leg-spinner – that rarest of commodities – Borthwick has been tipped for great things for some time.
He linked up with Aussie spin legend Shane Warne during a winter spent at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide.
Then there were net sessions with an England side on its way to an Ashes triumph Down Under and coach Mushtaq Ahmed (no slouch in the art of twirling himself!).
England’s star spinner Graeme Swann is a fan, and it is not out of the question that the two could soon be part of the same senior squad.
Thankfully, the 21-year-old Borthwick is a very grounded young man, and his progress this year has been rewarded with a dream call-up to the England Lions squad for the four-day clash with Sri Lanka A, which started at Scarborough today, as well as the three-match one-day series which begins at Worcester a week on Friday.
* Read more of Gary Foster’s profile of Scott Borthwick, plus more cricket, in today’s Echo.