Mark Adair admits it was “a dream come true” to make his Birmingham Bears debut in the NatWest T20 Blast this season.
The 20-year-old made his bow in the big derby against Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston and acquitted himself well with two accurate overs.
He has since followed that up with further impressive figures, including 4-0-18-2 against Leicestershire Foxes at Leicester last Friday.
So when North Group top two Birmingham and Northants Steelbacks meet on Friday in a crunch game at Edgbaston, the Ireland international will pose a the Steelbacks a threat they have not encountered before.
Adair, who also played in Warwickshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire this week, is the latest young player to force his way through into the Bears first team.
And he reveals that the playing environment at Edgbaston means that such a progression is a comfortable one.
“To come into the team against Worcestershire and play in front of 15,000 people at Edgbaston was a dream come true,” he said. “I hadn’t played any Twenty20 cricket, even for the 2nd XI, so to come into the team straight after injury was a surprise, but I was pleased with the way it went.
“But it is a very easy dressing-room to settle into. It’s great that the club is so encouraging of the younger players. Ian Bell is very relaxed and the first one to crack a joke in the changing room but when it gets out on the pitch it’s serious. So it’s a great environment to be part of.”
Having just signed a new two-year contract, Adair is looking to nail down his first-team place in all formats. In four-day cricket he bowled well against Nottinghamshire and is now eager to add to a championship wicket-haul which began, on his debut at Taunton last September, with a pretty illustrious one – Marcus Trescothick.
“It was nice to get Tres first up,” said Adair. “The 2005 Ashes series was when I first started watching cricket and that was him in his prime so to get him as my first wicket was special.
“It’s nice now to have a bit of stability with a two-year contract after two one-year deals so now I can settle in and not be worried about being in the last-year of a contract.
“I’ll just keep working hard and trying to establish myself with Warwickshire and also with Ireland. They have got a series coming up against Afghanistan and I am looking forward to that.”
Adair has been named in Ireland’s squad to face Afghanistan in a five-match ODI series starting on July 10, having made a good impression on national coach John Bracewell.
“Mark has impressed me with his skills in the limited opportunities I have seen him, and the series is ideal to get him involved with our international programme,” Bracewell said.
Take advantage of our July Double offer and see 2 games for just £30. Fans can see either Northants Steelbacks, Leicestershire Foxes and Notts Outlaws at Edgbaston. Under 16s come to all home groups games absolutely FREE.