Garrett the latest youngster in Warwickshire’s talented production line

Garrett the latest youngster in Warwickshire’s talented production line

For Warwickshire supporters, spotting genuine homegrown talent is a bit like catching a bus back to Birmingham city centre from Edgbaston. You wait for ages then three come along at once.

Joining Henry Brookes and Rob Yates in the Warwickshire team this week was 19-year-old debutant George Garrett, a fast medium bowler who took two wickets against Somerset in the Specsavers County Championship fixture.

Before that, though, he got to treat the home faithful with his batting: at number 11, where he scored two. Which made him more nervous, his initial bowl or his first innings with the bat?

“I had to wait a long time to bat,” said Garrett. “I was scheduled to be night watchman on the first evening if a wicket had fallen [Warwickshire were four wickets down]. With bowling, you get a lot of tries so the batting was probably the most nerve-wracking.”

And what about that maiden scalp [George Bartlett bowled for 26]?

“I was trying to run in and hit a good line and length. The ball was beginning to do a bit under the lights. I bowled it, looked up and the bails were off. I was just full of emotions. All of the lads were all over me.

“And it was great to have my dad and my mother in the stands. They’ve driven me around the country through my childhood.”

Garrett enjoyed sharing his success with fellow 19-year-old Yates, who scored a breakthrough century in the Bears’ first innings and followed it up with a half-century second time round. The two are already mightily familiar with one another.

“This autumn we’re going to be uni roommates. Yatesy and I have grown up playing together so it was great to walk out onto the field with him. We’re staying together in Selly Oak and [after Yates’ hundred] we watched Casino Royale. We’ll have to find an appropriate title for [after Garrett’s first wicket]!”

Fitting into a team where a couple of the players [captain Jeetan Patel and wicket keeper Tim Ambrose] are around twice Garrett’s age could have been tricky. Not so for this young man.

“Jeets and Amby are two experienced hands,” Garrett said. “Jeets is a legend. He’s such a lovely bloke. And having gone on the pre-season tour, I knew all the guys. I wasn’t expecting to play at all in the Championship this year. But they’ve made my transition into the side really easy.”

Reading History at Birmingham University, George starts his second year in October. “This year, I’ve had to balance cricket and studies. But I’ve already done that with my GCSEs and A levels so it’s nothing new.”

Here, it would seem, is a young man on the cusp of a successful career.

Modest but quietly self-confident and possessing a communication style as fluent as his bowling run-up, he will surely cope with the inevitable ups and downs of the sporting life – and no doubt watch some great films with Rob Yates along the way.

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