Cross Relishing The Opportunity
To Face England
Featured News | 9th May 2014
Harry Gurney will not be the only Nottinghamshire player in action when England take on Scotland in their opening one day international of the summer today.
Most cricket fans in the city will be aware of Gurney's hopes of picking up a first England cap, but lining up against him will be Notts 2nds wicket-keeper Matt Cross.
The 21-year-old has been affiliated to the club for more than three years after moving south to study at Loughborough University.
And he is relishing the prospect of playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Aberdeen, his home city.
Cross told the Post: "Cricket is popular up there with lots of teams.
"My teacher got me into it. I think he got bored of teaching us so took us into the gym to play cricket. I'm sure it's exciting for everyone in Aberdeen that the game will be played there.
"England will be favourites but we'll give it a good go. We are in good spirits after a good winter.
"We'll be looking to impress against a top side. We've got to play England in the World Cup next year so it would be good to really play well against them."
Cross admits his dealings with Gurney are limited as he is yet to make his Notts breakthrough.
"I bump into him quite a lot at Notts at training. He deserves to be in the England squad for sure having done so well at the start of the season," he said.
"He's the best one day bowler in the team as well."
Cross might be an international wicket-keeper, but that does not mean he is close to getting a senior debut for Notts.
In fact, he is not even the second choice behind the stumps at present with batsman Riki Wessels the regular deputy if long-standing glove-man Chris Read is unavailable.
However, Cross has started this season well with the 2nds and the Academy team. With time on his side, he hopes to eventually take over from 35-year-old Read when he calls time on his career.
"Hopefully I'll be his successor," he said. "I've got to knuckle down and look to keep improving my batting and keeping.
"I don't see Chris calling it quits any time yet. He's still a top player.
"He made 96 against Somerset this week so is still making runs. If I could go on to play for 15 years for Notts like him then I'd be a happy man. I'm just trying to improve my game now though."
Cross says it is essential he does all he can to impress Notts director of cricket Mick Newell and his coaches, starting with today's game.
"I imagine Mick will be watching now he's an England selector, so it's a good chance to impress him," Cross said.
"Every 2nds game is a chance to impress Mick and the coaching staff. I've got a couple of 50s in tough conditions this season so I'm quite pleased with how I've started."
Cross broke into the senior Scotland team last summer, making his debut against Hampshire.
He gained experience representing them in the YB40, a competition Notts won.
However, Scotland have chosen not to enter this year, meaning Cross will not get the chance to build on the 50 he scored against Essex.
"It would have been nice to play in it again. I enjoyed it last year, but I understand why they pulled out. They want as many Scotland players as possible to play regular county cricket," he said.
The list of players not born in England to represent them in Test cricket is too long to list.
Cross says he would consider the chance to follow in the footsteps of the likes of South Africans Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott and Ireland's Eoin Morgan, but for now his dream is to play for his native land in Tests.
"If I ever got the chance to play for England then maybe, but hopefully Scotland will eventually be able to play Test cricket. It would be pretty amazing to play in the first Scottish team to play a Test.
"That's a long way off, but you never know."