Briton keen to show skills for Canterbury
Canterbury's new import says the county cricket competition he's just come out of is developing into one of the best in the world and is creating fiercely competitive and talented players.
Canterbury Cricket will be hoping Gareth Andrew is one of those. The bowling allrounder from Yeovil, England, who arrived in New Zealand on Monday, will make his Wizards debut in their Plunket Shield opener against Otago starting on Saturday.
The 28-year-old missed the start of the just finished county season through injury, but finished on a high for his Worcester side despite his team being relegated from the top flight.
He said the English county scene is where Australian domestic cricket was 10-15 years ago where only the seriously talented players got a look into the national side and when they did earn promotion, they were ready thanks to having performed in a tough domestic competition week-in and week-out.
"The competition back home is so tough right now," he said. "We've got a very strong network of players in county cricket now, but we've got such a strong international side now, it makes it so hard to make it."
Andrew missed a golden opportunity in his youth to force his way into the English national side after playing for the country's under-19s.
The right-arm quick bowler, who is also a more than handy lower order batsman, didn't deliver on his early potential, but said he's now playing the type of cricket he's happy with.
"I under-performed as a youngster really and it wasn't until I had a bit of a fresh start when I moved to Worcester that my performances really started to pick up a bit," he said.
He played his first domestic one-day game in Britain as a 16-year-old.
"It's difficult because as a young cricketer you're thrust into playing five days a week and you have to be able to cope with that mentally and physically," he said.
"And it can go from a passion to your job. That's difficult, but once you get through that, it does get a lot easier and more enjoyable."
Andrew has 172 first-class wickets at an average of 34.55 and a batting average of 22.27, though those figures include his under-performing years.
The quick bowler, who can move the ball off the deck and in the air, said there was plenty of pressure that came with being a team's overseas import, but that would only make him perform better.
Having played club cricket with and against Ian Butler, Andre Adams and Lou Vincent, Andrew had plenty of people to ask for advice about playing in New Zealand and said he was champing at the bit to show what he could do.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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