Chambers: “I can play for England!”
IF WANSTEAD fast bowler Maurice Chambers can achieve what he sets out to do this season, then it won t be just county batsmen he has quaking in their boots, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. For the 21-year-old not only wants to be opening the attack for his county,
IF WANSTEAD fast bowler Maurice Chambers can achieve what he sets out to do this season, then it won't be just county batsmen he has quaking in their boots, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
For the 21-year-old not only wants to be opening the attack for his county, as a member of the fast bowling squad at the National Academy, he has an England place in his sights too.
"There are not many bowlers like me in the country, so there's no reason why I shouldn't be thinking about England," he said.
"I'm on the fast bowling skill set at England Academy, that puts me in a really good position of playing for England.
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"The coaches are looking for bowlers who are playing for the first team, and then look at them as the next generation of fast bowlers in England.
"Before that, I want to play as many first team games as possible and cement my place at Essex though.
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"I want to open the bowling with Dave Masters as I believe that we can feed off each other. He looks to swing it, whereas from the other end, I'm looking to run in, hit the deck hard and generate a bit of pace.
"He's a fantastic bowler and I really admire him and look up to him."
Last year was finally the year that Chambers broke into the Essex side on a regular basis. He came to the fore playing in a match for the academy side against the PCA Masters, before becoming an important member of the Twenty20 side beaten on finals day, while also playing three county championship matches.
"Last season was a good season, it wasn't an excellent one, but a good one," he admitted.
"I was given an opportunity to gain some experience, and I was really pleased as Essex have shown lot of faith in me and I want to repay that.
"I have to thank John Childs the academy director for picking me to play in an academy game against PCA masters. I did well in that, he reported back to the captain and first team coach Paul Grayson. I bowled really well and got into the Twenty20 squad."
Unfortunately, injuries then got the better of Chambers again as while the season before it was a back problem, this time he needed an operation on his ankle.
Thankfully, he is now pain free, and back to what he believes is his best.
"I had back problems, then it was my ankle and I was starting to think what was going to happen this season?" he said.
"I did my rehabilitation at the England academy, then went to Florida for a month and did some conditioning, and recovered really well.
"All that doubt has gone out the window, which has boosted my confidence. I can just run in without thinking about my ankle or back and just focus on what I've got to do."
It seems to be working so far as Chambers has impressed on the pre-season tour of Dubai, picking up nine wickets in three games, and with the season starting on April 15, he is confident that form will put him in good stead.
"I played three games in Dubai where I got wickets and it gives me a good head start," he said, ahead of a campaign which he hopes will yield promotion.
"These friendly games are critical as people are looking to perform at their best.
"Essex dominate one day cricket, but it would be good to see us get up into first division of the county championship too.
"We've got a really young team, but there's a lot of talent there, think we can get ourselves up to first division.