Michael Carberry: From Earlsfield to the Ashes


The Croydon-born cricketer is enjoying the experience despite two heavy defeats


By Michael Stafford-Jones

Croydon-born Michael Carberry will open the batting for England with Alastair Cook in the Third Ashes Test in Perth when Australia’s innings is over.

The Australians closed day one on 326-6 following a century from Steve Smith and fifties from Brad Haddin and David Warner.

The Western Australia Cricket Ground (WACA) in Perth is a far cry from Spencer Cricket Club in Earlsfield, where Carberry played twice during the summer.

He made centuries in both games and took eight wickets with his off-breaks to help Spencer CC finish fifth in the Surrey Championship Premier Division.

Speaking in the club newsletter about Carberry’s time with the club, Spencer CC’s 1st XI captain Neil Baker said: “(It was) great to have Carbs play. He was the ultimate professional and I think the guys got a lot out of it.”

The thrill of playing alongside one of English county cricket’s best batsman was made possible by the presence of former England player Alex Tudor.

Tudor, a former Spencer junior, returned to the club for the 2013 season to join the coaching staff and play for the First XI.

“Obviously having Alex gives us access to guys we wouldn’t have been able to get before,” said Baker.

Carberry’s day job this summer was to open the batting for Hampshire, but his life changed when he was called up to the England squad for the Ashes down under.

If the stylish strokemaker plays well enough this series, he could be awarded a central contract by England, making international matches his priority.

The Ashes series is the pinnacle of Carberry’s career and he seems both surprised and delighted to be there, despite England’s struggles.

“It’s been a hard couple of weeks. But for me personally, I’m still loving the experience,” Carberry wrote in his column for All Out Cricket magazine. “It’s an experience I never thought I’d have, so every day I’ve relished the challenge of getting out there.”

Carberry also said he is enjoying testing his skills against Australia’s excellent bowling attack, a confrontation which is no doubt very different to facing the bowlers of East Molesey and Malden for Spencer CC.

But it makes little difference. Whoever Carberry plays for, whether it’s England, Spencer CC or his county Hampshire, he clearly enjoys his cricket, and that’s all that matters.

Photo courtesy of  Kris Davies (megara_rp), with thanks.

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