George Garton is relishing the unexpected opportunities he is having to make his name at Sussex.
The 19-year-old left-armer, who is in his first year on the professional staff at Hove, has already taken seven wickets in three games in the Specsavers County Championship and now finds himself in the Royal London One-Day Cup team.
Garton, who has played for Three Bridges and Horsham in the Sussex League, has acquitted himself well with the white ball too. He took two wickets against Essex on his List A debut in front of the Sky cameras on Monday and another on Wednesday against Glamorgan.
“I’m playing more than I thought,” he admitted. “As long as you are in and around the squad and learning that’s a bonus and I did think I’d get a game or two this season, but to be put in straight away in the Championship was a boost for my confidence.
“(Captain) Luke Wright said at the start of the season that he wanted to give youngsters a go so that they keep pushing the more experienced players. But we have to earn it with good performances in the second team and that’s happened when you think of me and guys like Stuart Whittingham and even Lewis Hatchett.”
Garton, who went to Hurstpierpoint College, seemed unfazed at making his one-day debut live on TV. He is quicker than his slender frame might suggest and he swings the ball too.
“I played a lot of 50 over cricket at school and the Under-19 World Cup in the winter so I have an understanding of how I want to bowl, how I can get wickets and defend runs in that format,” he added. “I have enjoyed the opportunity but I know there are things I can improve and that I have to do that otherwise someone will come and take my place.”
Sussex have lost both Royal London Cup games to the massive frustration of their captain, whose team failed to win a match in last season’s competition.
They dropped five catches in Cardiff on Wednesday and Wright felt that was the difference between chasing 230 on a slow pitch and the 303 which they were eventually set as they went down by 84 runs.
“It was very frustrating,” said Wright, whose side revert to NatWest T20 Blast action tomorrow when they take on Kent Spitfires at Hove.
“I hope it hurts the whole team. There is a lot of disappointment and anger and we’ve had a few honest words and now you hope for a positive reaction.
“Words are cheap, we have to come back on Friday and put it right, albeit in a different competition.
“We have had a lot of days like that in 50 overs cricket in recent years. It’s not like we haven’t got experience but we are making too many mistakes for a side who have played a lot of one-day cricket.”
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