Calvin Harrison relishes the opportunity to reveal his red-ball repertoire in a match that perfectly illustrates the extent of his meteoric rise, as Nottinghamshire host Loughborough UCCE at Trent Bridge in their first pre-season friendly at Trent Bridge .
Harrison was named in a 13-man squad to face the University side, a year after blunting Nottinghamshire’s attack with a century for Oxford UCCE; a performance that set off a roller-coaster sequence of events for the leg-turning all-around player.
As a student at Loughborough, Matt Montgomery, an all-rounder from Notts, will present himself for the visitors.
This 166-ball 121 in the training stages of 2021 kicked off a trial period with the Nottinghamshire side; one that ultimately resulted in a professional contract, a compelling Vitality Blast and a deal with Manchester Originals for The Hundred.
Second XI cricket and stints as a substitute outfielder aside, the only thing missing from a stellar inaugural year was a chance to contribute to the cause of his adopted county in the immaculate white flannels of the ball game. red – an honor that will be awarded to the first time to apply in 2022.
“The college pre-season game at Trent Bridge certainly holds special memories,” Harrison said. “It’s strange to think that it was only a year ago. So much has happened since.
“For me, I’ve seen firsthand what the college journey can do to launch a career, so I respect the concept and the opposition for sure. I can’t wait to play what is sure to be a talented Loughborough side tomorrow.
Harrison’s 20 Vitality Blast wickets at 13.90 put him at the top of the wicket-taker charts in an Outlaws side that lost just twice in quarter-final qualifying in 2021.
His returns to the black Manchester Originals, meanwhile, saw the honor granted of a return contract, without needing to re-enter the draft.
It’s the kind of breakthrough that could easily see the Durban-born star branded a white-ball specialist, but it’s a label that Harrison, as a traditionalist at heart, is keen to dispel.
“I had an amazing time playing short format cricket last season and was extremely grateful for every opportunity that came my way. The large crowds add to the feeling of excitement and keep your blood- cold under that pressure was much of what was required in those environments.
“Red-ball County cricket has a different feel to it, but it’s no less special. There’s a purity to it. The pace is calmer, but it’s certainly no less of a battle and there’s has a huge amount of history attached to the port of Nottinghamshire whites.
“I trained hard with the red ball in the net and it’s nice to have an opportunity from the start to show what I can do in a game situation.
“The competition for places here is huge, and we have the bowling unit to go for a different balance for different types of pitches as well. I just want to get myself in the mix to play as much as possible, and the game of this week is a great opportunity to prepare for the season.