Vikai Kelley admits that the opportunity to make his Bears debut came ‘completely out the blue’.
The young wicket-keeper was, in fact, sitting at home and playing on his PS4 and unsure where his plans for the evening would take him.
But after a brief chat with Head Coach Jim Troughton, the Fordhouses product was packing his things and heading to Edgbaston to join the squad on the coach for the match at Northampton.
“I found out this morning and I was at home just playing my PS4,” said the Wolverhampton native. “I got a phone call from Jim Troughton and he told me I’m playing tonight.
“It was completely out the blue and I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Kelley, who turns 18 today (Wednesday), has been with Warwickshire since 2018, having joined the EPP and then the Academy.
Now working with Bears coach Tony Frost, Kelley has been a ‘keeper since the age of nine and has represented the Staffordshire age group from under-nine to under-16.
And despite the lack of Second XI cricket this year, Kelley has also played two games in Ian Westwood’s side.
Therefore, there was no hesitation from the Bears top brass to include the youngster, who repaid their faith with a safe pair hands by taking two stumpings off the bowling of Jeetan Patel and Jake Lintott.
“It felt surreal at first going out there as there are some big names in our team and those we are playing against,” Kelley added.
“There were some nerves but everyone’s got them and once we got going it became second nature to just play cricket.Vikai Kelley
“It felt really good, to be honest, and I didn’t feel out of place. I’m quite confident at the moment and I was told a few well done’s after the game which is good.
“Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity.”
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