Bud does well on debut

Pace bowler Bud Bailey was a shock inclusion for his first-class debut after being named in the Northamptonshire side to face Essex.The 18-year-old, from Watton, played well in the County Championship match at Chelmsford but Essex won by nine wickets.

Pace bowler Bud Bailey was a shock inclusion for his first-class debut after being named in the Northamptonshire side to face Essex.

The 18-year-old, from Watton, played well in the County Championship match at Chelmsford but Essex won by nine wickets.

He got three runs and took 2-119 and got a catch in Northamptonshire's first innings. In the second innings he scored 15 runs and took 1-8.

Before the game his father, Andy, said Bud would not be fazed by the prospect of bowling against players with Test match experience, such as Essex's Jason Gallian, Ravi Bopara and James Foster.


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“He doesn't really follow cricket,” said Andy, “which I think is a good thing because he doesn't know most of the people he will be playing against, so he has no fear of them. Reputations won't mean a lot him and they will be just another batsman to bowl at.

“He rang me to say he'd been picked and that was it, he wasn't over the moon or anything. I'm sure there will be nerves but he doesn't show it - I'm sure he's chuffed to pieces really.”

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Bud, who plays club cricket for Swardeston, spent two weeks in December at an academy for fast bowlers in South Africa and during the winter months he has concentrated on developing his body strength.

He has attended weekly sessions at a fitness club in Norwich to develop his core stability in a bid to prevent the type of injuries which many pace bowlers suffer.

“He's worked extremely hard and he's absolutely solid,” said Andy. “Northants were very keen for him to do that.

“You see a lot of older cricketers

now getting injuries because they did not do this type of training when they were younger.”

All that hard work clearly paid off in pre-season, as Bud took four wickets in a warm-up game against Hampshire, including the prize scalp of former England Test batsman John Crawley.

Speaking after that game, Bud said:

“I just hope that more of these opportunities are around the corner for me as bowling at this level is something that I really love doing. It is a big step up from Academy cricket and I have learnt that you need to be much more disciplined in the way you bowl as the bastmen really punish anything loose.”

He also bowled well in the following pre-season game, against Derbyshire.

Norfolk had earmarked Bailey to spearhead their attack this season, although his sudden elevation could hamper that plan.

But Andy said: “He's spoken to the Academy director, David Ripley, who told him that he should be able to play in the early one-day games for Norfolk, as long as he hasn't bowled too much during the week and if Northants don't need him. He should also be able to play a few games for Swardeston.”

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