George Garrett admits that his first year as a professional cricketer was a challenging one, but reckons what he learned from it stands him in good stead for 2022 and beyond.
A frustrating season for young Warwickshire seamer Garrett brought changes to his bowling action and then, just as he found some form and rhythm, injury.
The 21-year-old bowled well in the Royal London Cup in which he followed an excellent death spell in the thrilling home win over Leicestershire with a fine opening burst against Yorkshire at York. He took two wickets in his first over at Clifton Park and looked to be getting back towards his best only to tweak a hamstring before he could return for a second spell.
That effectively ended his season on August 3rd.
“It was frustrating because I was starting to find some rhythm,” Garrett said. “I didn’t bowl well early in the season and made some technical changes mid-season which isn’t ideal, but then it started to come out okay.
“I bowled a decent spell against Leicestershire and at York I bowled a long opening spell because it was coming out quite nicely. But then I felt the hamstring a little bit down at fine leg and that was that. That’s professional sport, I guess. You think you’ve turned the corner and then along comes some adversity.
“What matters is how you deal with it. Ian Westwood was fantastic and I also had some excellent conversations with Mark Robinson, Paul Farbrace and Pop Welch.
“It was the sort of challenging year that everybody in professional sport has at some point. It can make or break you and I think it has made me because it was a really challenging year and I learned so much from it about what being a professional cricketer really entails.
“I learned that, especially as a bowler, you need to manage your body properly. I think I under-estimated the challenge of dovetailing being a pro cricketer with studying – I was training at Edgbaston and then spending three or four hours in the uni library. I’m not complaining at all because I am very lucky to have had both those opportunities but it is good that my degree is done, so I can now focus fully on my cricket.”
Garrett’s focus is specifically to force his way back into a Bears first team in which he has played in all formats, including the championship in which he did well during three appearances late in the 2019 season.
“We have a fantastic seam attack when everyone is fit and, as a young bowler, you look at the pecking order and think ‘how on earth am I going to get in?'” he said. “But it’s a long season with a lot of games. People will be injured and rested and sometimes, if you are bowling well, before you know it you are in. That’s what happened to me in 2019 and I was quite happy with how I did. You’ve just got to do everything you can to be ready for when the chance comes along.”
Garrett did not play red-ball cricket for the Bears in 2021 but was involved in the glorious closing championship games and the Bob Willis Trophy triumph as 12th man.
“I was 12th man in the last few championship games and it was just a great time to be part of,” he said. “Especially the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s…when you have the opposition 12 for six on the first morning it’s hard to lose from there so there was a bit of celebrating.
“It gave a new slant on the 12th man ‘carrying the drinks’…I did a fair bit of getting the captain’s round in…”
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