Saturday, January 18, 2014
Rob Sayer reckons he had quite a good week last week. The 18-year-old cricketer from Ramsey St Mary’s has signed a summer contract with Leicestershire and has been called up to the England under-19s squad for the World Cup in the United United Arab Emirates.
“Things are starting to click into place,” said the Leeds University student, pictured right in red bowling against Pakistan, who has been training with Leicestershire for three years and playing for Peterborough Town.
“It has been my lifelong goal to play professional cricket but there is still a long way to go and room for improvement,” he added.
The bowling all-rounder, an off-spinner, has played for England’s under-19s in the UAE before, but there was no limit to the amount of players the country could name in the squad on that occasion. For the World Cup in February, only 15 players were named.
To be called up for such a prestigious tournament – which starts on Valentine’s Day – and sign his first county game contract in the same week is the stuff of cricketing dreams.
Huntingdonshire’s cricket performance manager, Dave Summers, knows Sayer well with the player having begun in the game at Upwood when he was 10.
“From a Huntingdonshire Cricket Board point of view we are very proud of what Rob has achieved,” said Summers. “He came through our age group system from the under-11s and went onto our Emerging Players Programme which is managed by myself.
“Part of this involved gaining experience at Leicestershire and he hasn’t looked back since.
“He remains in close contact with the county and is also a trained cricket coach and has helped out at our activities in the past.”
Sayer’s granddad played the game but the 10-year-old was taken to Upwood by his friend Luke Markland. “I got drafted in for a game of indoor cricket,” said Sayer. “I really enjoyed it and decided to go back.”
Eight years later Sayer is on the verge of breaking into the Leicestershire first team and making his name at a World Cup.