Nick over the moon with academy call

Nick Oxley celebrates a wicket while playing for Worthing Cricket Club during their   title-winning season this year
Nick Oxley celebrates a wicket while playing for Worthing Cricket Club during their title-winning season this year

WORTHING Cricket Club’s Nick Oxley admitted he was over the moon to be named as part of the academy intake for Sussex Cricket.

The 16-year-old left-arm chinaman, who helped the London and East team win the Bunbury Festival last year, is one of eight new players in the set-up. Four other players have retained their place in the academy, which is a combined programme between the ECB and Sussex Cricket.

Worthing College student Oxley said: “I had a meeting a couple of months ago when I was told I’d got in and I was just over the moon. It wasn’t something I was expecting, so I was really happy.

“Sussex have had a change of management and are maybe looking at home-grown players a bit more now and four of us who got selected in the academy have been with the county since we were ten.”

On his aims for next year, Oxley, who played for Sussex’s Development XI this summer, said: “My first aim is going to be to play some second team cricket and then make sure I keep my place in the academy for the following year.”

On longer term goals, Oxley said: “I want to play for the first team but this is a really exciting opportunity and I’ll be training hard all winter.”

With Worthing team-mate Mason Crane on tour with the England Development Programme, on playing for his country, Oxley said: “Hopefully, it will happen. I know of lot of players from around the country and I see on social media that they’re in an under-17 squad or development squad, so I hope to get the chance.”

Sussex’s cricket performance manager and academy director Keith Greenfield said: “We’re hugely excited by the group we have together and are very much looking forward to the programme progressing.

“This year, we have selected a larger but younger group, which gives us a slightly longer term view with them.

“It is also nice to a see a number of these players having progressed from our emerging players programme, which begins from age 13 upwards.

“All of these players have the potential to go on to play first-class cricket or for England women’s international team.”

Full academy intake: Joe Billings, Delray Rawlins, Thomas Gordon (all St Bede’s School), Ellen Burt (Ifield Community College), Daniel Doram, Thomas Haines, Jonty Jenner (all Hurstpierpoint College), Tara Norris (Portslade Aldridge Community Academy), Nick Oxley (Worthing College), Nicholas Smith (Chichester High School), Benjamin Twine (Eastbourne College), Harrison Ward (St Edwards, Oxford).

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