Unique action no problem for Worcestershire’s Shantry ahead of Royal London One-Day...

Unique action no problem for Worcestershire’s Shantry ahead of Royal London One-Day Cup opener

Jack Shantry is looking to lead his Worcestershire team back to Lord's

The first time Jack Shantry watched himself bowl on TV he had a bit of a rude awakening.

Until then, the left-arm seamer had always thought he bowled a bit like Brett Lee, only in reverse.

Presented with the hard evidence however, and the youngster was forced to accept that his unique action was not quite so textbook.

Not that his unconventional approach has held him back in nearly a decade in the county game with Worcestershire.

Shantry has claimed more than 250 first-class scalps in his career and don’t bother trying to dig him for his ugly approach – he has heard them all before.

“My path was not straight forward, I was not in any county academies so I went under the radar and played minor counties, I had no real coaching on my action,” he said.

“In fact, I thought I bowled a bit like Brett Lee before I saw myself on TV for the first time and thought: ‘Ooh that’s a bit different.’

“It’s a strange one definitely. There was not much pressure but had I wanted to change I don’t think I could have managed it. It is so idiosyncratic, it is not like a bit of tweaking here and there it would have been a massive change.

“I still get stick now, but it is water off a duck’s back. You get it from spectators, other players, teammates, family! Whoever wants to have a dip.

“But cricket is a number’s game and if are performing and you can point to the scoreboard then that’s the way to deal with it.”

With a brother and father who both played professionally, Shantry had long dreamed of a career in the game but feared his chance would never come.

“Cricket was not what I was planning for my career, I was at university with a different route,” he added.

“I came into the system almost by mistake and by then I was focused on the outcome rather than how it looked coming out in the first place.

“I got to the age of 21 and had not played first class cricket which is late for a bowler

“And I bowled only 75mph so I presumed I wouldn’t get a chance, so when it came I grabbed it with both hands.”

Grabbed it he has – and this summer one of his main aims is to get Worcestershire to a Lord’s final in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

A back problem has kept him on the sidelines as the Pears have struggled with the red ball back in Division One.

But the experienced 30-year-old hopes he will return for the one-day competition and they can go one better than last year’s trip to the semi-finals – starting with this weekend’s clash with Derbyshire.

“The idea of playing in front of Lord’s in front of a packed house is the pinnacle,” he added.

“It’s different to four-day and t20, it’s a great spectator sport and we are hoping to go all the way this year.

“We got to the semi-finals last year, and fell just one hurdle short of getting to Lord’s.

“But we think our side is quite suited to this competition, we have a nice mix with the bowlers and our batters have historically been quite strong.

“We have not had the most ideal start back in Division One so we will look to start with a bit of form in this one.”

Royal London, proud sponsors of one-day cricket, celebrating unconventional greatness in the game by championing the independent spirit of players like Worcestershire Rapids’ Jack Shantry. The Royal London One-Day Cup returns on 17th May.

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