George Garton has arrived at Edgbaston – and Warwickshire’s new left-arm seamer has told how he’s raring to go and counting down the days to make his Bears debut.
The 26-year-old England international – who’s clocked 90mph at his quickest – arrived at his new home this week to join fitness training and meet his new teammates.
He’s signed a deal which will see him initially focus on white ball cricket but with the option to play in the County Championship further down the line.
Garton missed the 2022 season having been diagnosed with a blood clot on his lung but has said he’s now firing on all cylinders and back to his best.
“I know I can bowl fast,” he said, “and at my best hover around the 90mph mark. But in recent years I’ve become more skillful and learned new ways to take wickets, so it’s not all about speed.
“As a left-arm fast bowler I know I’ve got desirable attributes in the game – there aren’t too many of us around – so hopefully I can offer something new to the Bears attack.
“At 26 I feel I’m coming into the best years of my career. I want to fall back in love with cricket. I felt I was back and raring to go last year but I didn’t get the opportunity to play as much cricket as I would have liked.
“Only two years ago I was playing for England. I was part of the ODI squad against Sri Lanka and then made my debut in an IT20 touring the West Indies. I know I can get back to my best. I want to make sure I’m not featured in any pub quizzes about naming players who’ve had just one England cap!
“I’m grateful for Warwickshire giving me such an amazing opportunity. Members and fans can expect 100 per cent commitment from me and passion. All I’m focused on now is the new season, taking wickets and helping the Bears win matches.”
Garton joins with a wealth of franchise experience having played in the IPL, Big Bash, SA20, and Abu Dhabi T10, alongside his domestic opportunities with Sussex and Southern Brave in The Hundred.
He’s claimed 72 wickets from 81 games in the short format, and 55 wickets in 26 first-class appearances.
“It’s cool walking into such an iconic English stadium. I’m Sussex born and bred so I thought, if I’m going to make a move, make it a big one, really challenge myself and show people what I can do on a big stage.
“I think Warwickshire will get the best out of me if I focus on one format – and my best format at the moment is T20. But I still have as big itch to scratch in red ball. I’m very keen to play red ball again but I’ve not put a timeframe on that, it’ll be a joint decision between me and the Club.
“From my experience if I’m happy and enjoying my cricket then my performances and results tend to look after themselves. The vibe is great here and after speaking to Robbo – who I’ve known for many years – and Gavin (Larsen) it just seemed to click.
“I’ve spent a lot of time working on my batting so I would consider myself an all-rounder (his highest First Class score is 97) and I also love fielding. It’s an important part of the game, my game, as top fielding can change matches.
“I’ve only played at Edgbaston twice before (a Blast semi-final defeat to Kent in 2021 and an appearance in The Hundred) so it will be amazing to play here on a regular basis. I can’t wait to get started.”