From soft-ball novice to top county talent in four years!
There are meteoric rises and then there is the rapid progression of Adam Finch.
Less than four years ago, the Worcestershire youngster had never played a game of cricket in his life.
Now, still aged only 17, the fast bowler has finished this summer with a five-for against Yorkshire in the Second XI and two appearances for England U19s.
The Old Swinford Hospital School student from Himley CC will take his A-Levels next year, but still has to pinch himself about his fast climb to the top.
“My godfather’s children started playing soft ball cricket with a local club and they needed an extra player so I went down, I quite liked it and it went from there!” he said. “I was very much into football when I was younger so it was probably not until I was 13, nearly 14 that I got into cricket.
“From there I played for a few of my local clubs. And then it all took off from there very quickly – it has taken me by surprise a bit.
“Going into this summer I had not imagined anything like this, to be involved with the 2nd XI and the England U19s – it has been amazing.
“But I am lucky to have people around me like my Dad to keep me humble and grounded. I don’t think I would be a big-headed person, I want to keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard to improve.”
Father Gary Finch is reserved for special praise, as is former coach Mark Rutter – who died two years ago.
But Finch is now thriving under the tutelage of Matt Mason at New Road.
“We have great contact with the coaches – and while this has been a quick rise it didn’t just happen overnight,” he added.
“There have been a lot of people who have worked hard and put a lot of hours into me and I cannot thank them all enough.”
Two appearances for England this summer in their Youth ODI series against India showed Finch how much more there is to come. But his relative newness to the sport fills him with optimism for the future – as long as he can negotiate his exams next summer in History, Sports and Geology.
He added: “Small steps; obviously there have been some quite big steps happening for me very quickly, but the dream for me is to be a professional cricketer first and foremost – and from there I will try to sustain it for as long as I can.
“Getting into the 2nd XI and then getting that five-for against Yorkshire helped my confidence a lot, it helped me to believe that I really can do it at this level.
“I think, in the long run, the fact I am new to the game will help me a lot.
“Sometimes I imagine people can get a little bored if you have been doing the same thing for a long time, but because football was my first love it is all still new and exciting.
“And playing for England, you don’t really get that feeling anywhere else, it was just an enormous amount of pride to wear the shirt.”