Monday, 14 June 2021

Teenage cricketer eyes pro career

A TEENAGER from Wargrave is targeting a career as a professional cricketer after making his debut

A TEENAGER from Wargrave is targeting a career as a professional cricketer after making his debut for the Berkshire senior team.

Euan Woods, 16, played in the county side’s victory over Oxfordshire in a three-day Unicorns Championship game at the Brakspear Ground in Henley earlier this month.

The left-handed batsman scored 18 runs in one innings and seven in the other as Berkshire won by 40 runs.

Euan, who is also a spin bowler, has been playing cricket since he was little as he lives by the village recreation ground off Recreation Road with his parents, Martin and Michelle.

He used to practise with his father, who is the parish council groundsman, and his older brother Alex. Both played for Wargrave Cricket Club and Euan followed suit, making his club debut at age 10.

Alex, 23, is now a coach at Worcestershire, who are in the first division of the county championship.

Euan, who is studying for his GCSEs at the Piggott School in Wargrave, represented Berkshire at youth level when he was just nine and scored his first county century two years later.

He said: “I was born and lived on the green at Wargrave. My dad and older brother played cricket for Wargrave so they got me into it.

“The first time I picked up a bat and ball I was probably about four. I just find it exciting and enjoyable.”

Mr Woods said: “Wargrave Cricket Club is Euan’s front garden as I have been groundsman for 24 years, so he has been playing cricket since he could walk. Euan was being bowled at from a very early age and his brother is seven years older than him and both boys have always been around cricket.” Euan’s top score is 155, which he made in a match between Wargrave and Chiswick & Whitton, while his best bowling figures are seven for 34 in a village match against Wokingham 2nd XI.

He has been a member of the emerging players programme at Surrey, who are in the second division of the county championship, for two years and plays up to six games each year. In March he was part of a squad which toured Sri Lanka, playing eight games in Colombo, Kandy and Galle.

“We were out there for two weeks,” said Euan. “It was a good experience playing in a different climate against different opposition. We also got to do some sightseeing in Galle.”

Last year Euan scored four consecutive hundreds for Berkshire in the ECB under-15s championship and was top scorer for South-West England at the Bunbury Festival last July.

He was the highest run scorer in the country at under-15 level.

Mark Allum, Berkshire’s director of youth cricket, said Euan was the best-performing Berkshire player at his level for many years.

After making his senior county bow, Euan is targeting a place in the Surrey side.

He said: “Playing for Berkshire was a good experience. I got to play a three-day game and saw what the level was at county standard.

“Playing that level of cricket helps my development as a player and the coaches seemed happy with how I did on my debut.

“Hopefully I’ll make a second team appearance for Surrey and eventually make it professionally. The dream is to play for England one day.”

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