Jersey fits De-Nyi Thomas’s ambitions of reaching pro ranks
De-Nyi Thomas is a man on a mission and failure is not an option.
The former Bailey’s Bay youth-team cricketer, who attends De La Salle College in the Channel Island of Jersey, hopes to one day play the gentlemen’s sport professionally.
The lanky left-arm seam bowler moved closer towards realising his dream when he joined Farmer’s Cricket Club, who play in the Jersey Cricket League, in 2019.
“It’s a type of club which takes in most of the students from the college,” Thomas said. “Most of the guys on the team have been to De La Salle.
“I’m playing in multiple divisions with our first, second and third teams and it’s a good level of cricket.”
He added: “The ball swings miles out there, so it’s great to come in, especially with the new ball swinging all over the place and tricking the batsmen.
“When I came here it was a different level as far as the batsmen.
“In Bermuda you know the batsmen and how to get them out because you’ve been playing with them your whole life. But out there you have to try different things to find ways to get people out, so I’ve just stuck to the basics of line and length and let the conditions do the rest.”
The promising 18-year-old came on in leaps and bounds during his second season with his club last summer, as he led their bowling attack with 25 wickets at an average of 16.32 and best figures of four for 18 to earn the Golden Ball award.
“I got the Golden Ball for reaching 25 wickets in a season,” Thomas said.
“That was one of my goals and I reached it, so I’m proud of myself for that.”
The opening bowler narrowly missed out on the award on his debut season in the league.
“Someone beat me by two or three wickets,” Thomas added.
However, he would not be denied at the second attempt.
“Last season I wanted to get the Golden Ball more than any other trophy because I had missed it by only a couple of wickets the season before,” said Thomas, who bagged more than 30 wickets overall playing across three divisions.
“It feels good to have achieved that goal because I worked hard and put in the extra work.”
Thomas also savoured success with his team-mates last season having won the Jersey Post Weekend League Premier T20 and Division Two titles with Farmer’s Caesareans first XI and third XI respectively.
“The team that I play for is a good team and they were winning before I even showed up,” he said. “So it feels good to be added to that team and to be able to contribute to the wins and get more silverware.”
However, last season did not go without its share of challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We usually have a warm-up season in the indoor league before the actual season starts, but with Covid we were unable to play that,” Thomas said.
“The season started a couple of months late but then they [league officials] got in the groove of things and found different ways of sanitising the ball and just finding out ways to work around it.”
As for his dream of playing professional cricket, Thomas said: “It’s definitely on the radar and is something I want to do.
“It’s a long road ahead and I haven’t got close to it yet. But I’m ready to put the time and work in.”
A development tour to England in 2016 with the Bermuda Cricket Board's National Academy, which included a visit to the world-famous Lord's Cricket Ground, sparked the player’s ambition of showcasing his talents abroad.
“When I went on that trip I kind of fell in love with the thought of playing in England because I had never been before,” Thomas said.
“Playing out there and playing in the conditions, even at a young age, felt good and I wanted to be out there more. So it fuelled a dream for me to leave the island and play somewhere else.”