Cal­lum hopes to blos­som in Span­ish sun

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - cal­lum gre­gory Glouces­ter­shire seamer

CAL­LUM GRE­GORY is fully fo­cused on climb­ing the crick­et­ing lad­der and is hope­ful that be­ing named one of this year’s Tom May­nard Academy in­take is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

The Glouces­ter­shire seamer is one of just 12 tal­ented young crick­eters, from nine first-class coun­ties, to be given the hon­our – which com­prises a nine-day spell in Spain this month.

The cho­sen 12 will work a care­fully-con­structed pro­gramme at the Desert Springs re­sort cov­er­ing tech­ni­cal skills, strength and con­di­tion­ing and fin­ish­ing with two T20 matches against the Span­ish na­tional team at La Manga.

Gre­gory, 20, has been with Glouces­ter­shire for three years and is set­ting his sights on break­ing into the first-team af­ter seven ap­pear­ances for the sec­ond XI last sea­son.

And he ad­mits that there is also re­lief at be­ing one of four re­cip­i­ents of the Academy Plus con­tracts at the county.

“I want to re­ally hone my skills [at the Tom May­nard Academy] be­cause the white­ball sea­son starts so early this year, so it will be good to get a head start on ev­ery­one else,” he said.

“The whole pur­pose of the camp is to fo­cus on white-ball cricket. It is a good op­por­tu­nity be­cause through the win­ter we prac­tice a lot with the red ball as it is tougher to prac­tise white ball stuff in­doors.

“Ob­vi­ously there was a lot of ex­cite­ment over my Academy Plus con­tract but cer­tainly re­lief is a good way to de­scribe it!”

Gre­gory was se­condlead­ing wicket taker in the West of Eng­land Premier League last sea­son while play­ing for Dow­nend CC.

And he is con­fi­dent the academy con­tract can be a bridge to be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional.

While the Tom May­nard Academy will pri­ori­tise white­ball cricket, Gre­gory in­sists he wants to prove him­self in all forms of the game.

“I found out about the con­tract at the back end of last sea­son be­cause our academy con­tracts at the time were up,” ex­plained Gre­gory.

“We reached an age where a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing my fu­ture in cricket had to be made and it was a path­way into the pro­fes­sional squads.

“I re­ally want to fo­cus on all forms of the game and be in a po­si­tion where, whether it be white-ball or red-ball, I can be called upon to per­form if needs be.

“The white-ball stuff is some­thing I en­joy a lit­tle bit more be­cause of the ex­cite­ment of it, but that said I still have big as­pi­ra­tions in red ball cricket.

“It has been good pro­gres­sion for me and I have re­ally en­joyed it over the three years that I have been here.

“I have had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to play, I have played in academy games and for the sec­ond XI.

“I want to be in a po­si­tion where, if they re­quire me, they will trust me to do the job if called upon.”

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