THE coaches, captains and teachers of two York cricket starlets have expressed their ‘pride’ in the youngsters that lost the ICC Under-19s World Cup semi-final.
Sheriff Hutton Bridge’s Matthew Fisher, 16, and Stamford Bridge all-rounder Will Rhodes, 18, were in the side as England suffered a three-wicket loss to Pakistan in the first semi-final in Dubai.
Both then starred in the win over Australia to take third place.
Fisher and Josh Shaw shared a last-wicket partnership of 34.
England, chasing 247, fell to 213-9 with 23 balls left. Sheriff Hutton Bridge star Fisher subsequently hit 20 off 12 balls and Shaw 12 off ten. Earlier, captain Rhodes took 2-35 from eight overs and hit 28.
Sheriff Hutton Bridge’s junior team secretary Barry Speake, who has worked with Fisherfor years, said he still pinches himself to see how far the seam bowler has come.
“I think it’s fantastic what he’s doing at such a young age,” said Speake.“I wouldn’t say I always saw it coming but the way we’ve seen him develop in the past couple of years, it’s no surprise to see the attention he is getting.
“The whole club are very proud of him.”
Fisher, the youngest competitive county cricketer in history when he made his Yorkshire debut last summer, was England U19s’ leading wicket-taker in the tournament, with ten dismissals in five games.
Unfortunately, his fine efforts were in vain in a semi-final where he totalled 2-21 from his ten overs.
Fisher’s Easingwold School head of PE, Jonathan Marwood, also believes the seamer has done remarkably well.
“He has played a massive part and we are all very proud of him,” said Marwood. “To watch how much confidence he has got is amazing.”
The teenager has drawn comparisons to England seamer and fellow Yorkshireman Tim Bresnan, but Marwood moved to quash any speculation that the hype is getting to Fisher.
He said: “I know Matty wants to play Test cricket for England. He is a competitor so he is aiming very high, but he hasn’t got an arrogant bone in his body.”
All-rounder and England U19s captain Rhodes has also received backing from home; his Stamford Bridge captain Matthew Beckett saying he knew how good the 18-year-old could be from the first time he saw him play.
“He came down for a few games when he was 16 and just stood out as a genuine all-rounder,” said Beckett.