Tom Hartley - Simply Magnificent
When Tom Hartley took the new ball in the first innings of his first Test match for England, playing against India in Hyderabad, not many people would have predicted he’d finish the game with figures of 7-62 - the best for an England spinner on debut since 1933 - with England winning the Test by 28 runs.
Hartley’s first ball was hit for six, and while playing in India might feel a long way away from Ormskirk, the young spinner remembered his training, those hours he’s put in for his club and county, to pull himself back into the game.
He told BBC Sport, ‘I felt ready for it. I know my ability on spinning wickets. I knew I could do well. I've been hit for a lot of sixes in my career, so I don't let these things get on top of me. The background I've had is to not let yourself get down. I just want to be a fighter and throw some punches back.’
This confidence was evident when England returned to the field on the fourth day of the Test. Hartley was again given the ball, after adding a valuable 34 with the bat. His coach, captain and teammates all had faith in him, and it was visible on the field as they all encouraged him to keep going, keep bowling, and keep playing the game just as he does when he’s at home.
Ormskirk Cricket Club is immensely proud to call Tom Hartley one of our own. Having joined the club as a youngster and quickly risen through the ranks to become a valued player here, seeing him perform on one of the biggest stages in world cricket - and knowing the work he’s put in at this club - is a great feeling.
Hartley isn’t the first OCC player to get called up to England, and we’re sure he won’t be the last. We wish Tom a long and successful career.