Balderton Cricket Club’s Tom Shepherd got slightly more than he bargained for when, on the invitation of Andy Pick, he turned up to bowl at Trent Bridge in the week leading up to the LV= Insurance Test Match between England and New Zealand.
“He didn’t tell me who I was bowling at or anything like that,” said Shepherd, who is currently the second top wicket taker in Nottinghamshire Premier League Division 2.
“I just rocked up and it turned out I was bowling against New Zealand!”
But the seamer found success amidst his enjoyment.
“I’ve always loved cricket, it is something I have always wanted to do when I was younger, and I have worked hard so it has been a dream of mine to bowl here.
“Doing it here against these kind of players is incredible really.
“I bowled at Tom Latham and got him out twice! I nicked him off then hit him in the middle of the pad. I bowled a couple more then just watched.
“It is an individual thing, I’ll always have that to remember.”
It is customary for bowlers from the Notts Academy and local leagues to act as net bowlers in the lead up to Test Matches.
With the Outlaws Second XI in T20 Finals Day action at Arundel, it was left to a handful of players from the likes of Balderton, Cuckney and Carrington and Cavaliers to fulfill the role.
The opportunity served as a valuable learning experience for Shepherd, who was able to watch some of the best up close.
“We were watching Tim Southee bowling and just talking to one of the New Zealand coaches about the season so far.
“We said how smooth and repeatable his action is. It is on the spot all of the time.
“And when they are bowling and you are just ten yards away, you might not get another opportunity like it.”
England versus New Zealand at our historic home
From James Anderson ripping through Australia, to Joe Root and Jos Buttler tons, day four fireworks are frankly commonplace at our historic home.
Secure your seats for day four of England against world champions New Zealand here…