Proctor makes big impression
It is often said big things come in small packages.
This certainly was the case during Somerset’s final Cup Match trial at the weekend as pint-sized seam bowler Jermal Proctor produced a phenomenal display with the ball way beyond his tender age.
The 13-year old wreaked havoc upon the Vice-President’s XI batsmen as he varied his line, length and pace with lethal effect on the way to impressive figures of four for 20 from eight overs including three maidens.
“This is definitely one of my better performances, especially in Bermuda,” Proctor said.
“It was a very big moment for me and quite a nice experience. My parents were real happy.”
The great, great grandson of former Somerset captain Nathaniel Proctor was originally listed as a reserve going into the Cup Match champions’ final trial. But he was drafted in the President’s XI team after all-rounder Kamau Leverock was unable to bowl because of injuries he suffered in a bike accident the night before.
“I didn’t have much expectations considering that I was reserve,” Proctor added. “But then Kamau was injured and so I had to come in and bowl.
“It was a big task, especially in front of all those people.
“I was quite nervous. But once I got my first wicket I was like, ‘yeah’!”
The second-change bowler was virtually unplayable charging in from the northern ground.
“I was getting a lot of assistance from the wicket,” said Proctor, whose impressive display earned him a spot in Somerset’s Cup Match team as a junior reserve.
“It was overcast and had a bit of green on the wicket so it was swinging a lot.”
Proctor’s menacing spell did not go unnoticed by Joe Bailey, the former Somerset Cup Match captain, who was impressed by the youngster’s maturity, discipline and technique.
“He really surprised me and I was very impressed,” said Bailey, who led Somerset to their first Cup Match victory on turf at Wellington Oval in 1981. “He was doing a lot of the right things and one thing I noticed was on his final approach he was side on which means a lot because you can get the ball to move either way and can keep a line and length for a long period of time, which is very important.
“He’s got potential and as a youngster he is way ahead of his time. I had a little conversation with him and he talked like a mature player who has been around for awhile.”
Proctor, who also claimed three for 40 with the new ball in a losing cause for Somerset during last Sunday’s Colts Cup Match at Wellington Oval, has made steady strides in England where he now resides.
He had a successful stint playing at youth level for Leicestershire and in September will transfer to Warwickshire County Club’s academy to continue his development.
“Jermal is in England now and is getting some higher level coaching,” Michael Corday, chairman of Somerset’s selectors, said.
“That little guy is a talented cricketer and he is so focused, which is unusual for somebody his age.
“Jermal is a bit of a phenomenon. He’s only 13 but he gets the ball to rise off a good length.
“He took four wickets [in the final Cup Match trial], but he very easily could’ve had five.
“Jermal is one of those prodigies that we expect really good things from.”
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