Gloucestershire v Yorkshire CCC: Pace man Matty Fisher bitten by England bug after Test debut

YORKSHIRE’s Matty Fisher says he is even more hungry to play for England than before he made his Test debut last month.

By Chris Waters
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 6:10 am
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 12:17 pm

The pace bowler fulfilled a childhood dream when he played in the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados.

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Gloucestershire v Yorkshire CCC: Pace man Matty Fisher bitten by England bug aft...

Fisher struck with his second ball – opener John Campbell edging behind – and in no way looked out of place en route to match figures of 1-71 from 27 overs on a dead pitch that did not help the bowlers.

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Yorkshire's Matty Fisher on his England Test debut tour in the West Indies. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images.

The 24-year-old faces a battle to play Tests this summer with James Anderson and/or Stuart Broad likely to return, meaning there will potentially be fewer places available.

But Fisher knows that a good start to the season – commencing with today’s County Championship opener against Gloucestershire in Bristol – will keep him in the frame and insists that he is even more fired up to represent his country.

MORE – Yorkshire CCC: Lord Kamlesh Patel keen for players to concentrate on their primary role

“I’ve now had a taste of playing for England and although I always wanted to do it before, I feel like the hunger to do it is even more now because I’ve had that taste of it,” said Fisher, as Yorkshire embark on a new era under head coach Ottis Gibson.

Pace man Matty Fisher has high hopes of silverware with Yorkshire this summer. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

“It was a great experience and something I’ll treasure.

“I’m not looking too far ahead in terms of this summer [playing for England]; I’m just looking forward to trying to be as consistent as I can for Yorkshire, a bit like in the last four games of last season, and to carry on that form in the coming weeks.

“I’m hoping that whether it’s this summer, or whether it’s in two or three years’ time, that if I do get that next chance [to play Test cricket], I’m a more complete bowler who can hopefully stay in the team consistently.”

Fisher – the youngest post-war county cricketer when he made his Yorkshire debut in 2013 at the age of 15 – has always had a sensible head on young shoulders. As he goes into a run of six back-to-back Championship games (it remains to be seen how Gibson rotates his bowlers given the weight of a hectic schedule), Fisher recognises that he is a work in progress.

The York-born player has been grooving a slightly longer run-up to give him more momentum towards the crease, so that he is not forcing a hitherto injury-prone body through each delivery, as well as using the crease better.

Fisher has also been working on his general accuracy and consistency and, for when the white-ball stuff starts, his slower balls.

“You’ve constantly got things you want to improve, and I think, being honest, that I’ve still got stuff to work on to be named in the [England] XI consistently,” he said.

“I’m not stupid in that fact; I just want to improve and take the things that I’ve learned already and do them consistently.

“Obviously the hunger and drive to play again is still there for Broad and Anderson, two magnificent bowlers, and it’s up to the ECB what happens and who the new coach is [in terms of selection].

“That’s something I can’t control and something that Broad and Anderson can’t control either so, for us all, it’s just about being consistent for your county and trying to put your name in the hat.”

Did Fisher feel added pressure given that Broad and Anderson were overlooked for the Caribbean tour?

“I didn’t put it on myself because I just see Broad and Anderson as being the best ever for England – Anderson, for me, is probably the best ever in the seaming category, just because of the amount of skill and the stuff that he’s learnt over the years, and how good he is away from home,” said Fisher.

“So I didn’t put that pressure on myself because I never compare myself to those two because they’re just in a different league.

“And I’ll never think, ‘Oh, I was never as good as Jimmy Anderson’ because there’s not going to be many, if anyone, who is.

“It’s just about how close can you get to being as good as him and Broad. That’s what I’ll measure myself on.”

Fisher was satisfied with his efforts on debut.

“I was content,” he said. “Potentially I was a surprise [call-up] to a lot of people, but I just wanted to show my weapons and I thought the pitch potentially stifled me a bit.

“My bouncer is something I really rely on, and it was a bit annoying when you couldn’t even get a bouncer up – it wasn’t like Scarborough, for example.

“There was also a big crosswind and I didn’t want to fight my away-swinger against that, which is probably my best ball, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience overall.”

Now Fisher aims to turn it on in a Yorkshire shirt as the club attempts to follow a terrible winter with a trophy-laden summer.

“I think we can challenge on all fronts,” he said.

“We’ve got a really strong squad and all departments covered. I’m really looking forward to it, and so are the lads.”

Yorkshire are set to hand a debut in Bristol to Pakistan overseas player Haris Rauf.

Fellow pace man Ben Coad has recovered from a groin injury and takes his place in a 13-man squad.

Yorkshire (from): Bess, Brook, Coad, Duke, Fisher, Fraine, Hill, Lyth, Malan, Patterson (captain), Rauf, Thompson, Wharton.

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