Nathan joins the playing staff

Somerset County Cricket Club are pleased to be able to announce that fast bowler Nathan Gilchrist has signed a professional contract.

After signing the deal the 18-year-old, who graduated from the Academy this summer, said: “I’m just over the moon to be honest. It’s been two years of hard work on the Academy, but I’m so glad that this moment has finally come. Now I’m just really excited to get started as a professional cricketer. It’s a very proud moment for both me and my family.”

Nathan is a right arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman and was born in South Africa but his father in English.

He first came to England on a cricket exchange as he explains. “I’ve been in England for just over two years now,” he said. “It feels like home for me as I have spent so much time at the Cooper Associates County Ground and it’s a big part of my life. My school in South Africa, St Stithian’s College, had an exchange programme with King’s College in Taunton, so I came on that thinking it would just be for three months. Little did I know that I’d be here for another two years and that it would work out like it has.

“Since I first joined the Academy there have been a lot of opportunities which have come my way. In South Africa I didn’t play any representative cricket, so to be thrown straight into a professional environment was quite daunting at first. However, everyone at the Club has made me feel so welcome and in the last year I’ve learned so much from being around the First and Second XIs. It doesn’t feel like so much of a step up to become a professional now.

“The day that I was told I had been awarded a contract was a pretty good day for me. In the morning I was told I had been offered a contract after which I drove to a three-day game against Surrey and took a six-fer.”

“The Somerset Academy is not an easy place to be because it’s very competitive, but during my involvement with it I’ve learned so much. It’s been really worthwhile.

“Over the last few winters I’ve partly been at school and partly training at the ground, so this will be my first year focusing solely on cricket, which I’m really excited about. This winter is definitely going to show how much my game can develop and I’ll be here right the way through until pre-season. I know I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I also know that it will be worth it.

“Hopefully over the next 12 months I can showcase what I’m capable of and continue my career with Somerset for many years to come.”

Somerset Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “Nathan graduates from our Academy having demonstrated that he has the potential to be a very effective strike bowler. He is tall, extracts good bounce and has the ability to make batting a real challenge.

“This will be his first full winter with us and it’s a key period for him to develop the physical robustness required to maintain performance and have a real focus on developing his ability to hold length.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground