George Garton has become the newest Bear, arriving on a three-year deal to call Edgbaston home.
A Brighton native, Garton is ready to make a fresh start in Birmingham, having been with his boyhood club Sussex since the U10s age group.
A left-arm quick, who has clocked over 85mph, Garton will bring a different dimension to the Bear’s white ball attack after showcasing his talent around the world.
Just 26 years old, Garton has already made a strong impression on the franchise circuit and the Bears will be hoping his trajectory continues to rise.
As members of the Cricket Badger fraternity, we’ve sifted through George’s career, picking out his career highlights to date.
England v West Indies (IT20) – Kensington Oval, 22 January 2022
The pinnacle for any cricketer. Garton finally received full international honours in early 2020 after illness halted his progress.
Having endured a first bout of Covid on the eve of making his ODI England debut against Pakistan, he recovered quickly and played the rest of the season before heading out to the Big Bash.
Again, Garton endured more frustration, catching Covid on the plane home, to prepare for England’s T20 Tour of the West Indies.
Thankfully, after his isolation period, Garton was given the all-clear and a childhood dream came true.
Describing the experience as an ‘absolute blast’, Garton dismissed opener Brandon King for his first international wicket, just a few hours after receiving his England T20 cap from fellow Sussex teammate Chris Jordan.
Sussex v Glamorgan (Vitality Blast) – Hove, 28 July 2016
Garton’s T20 debut was a low-key affair. An 11-run defeat to Gloucestershire at Arundel, Garton’s three-over spell was the perfect introduction to the professional T20 ranks.
32 days later things were different. Part of the envious bowling line-up of Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills, Garton took four wickets for just 16 runs, immediately bursting onto the scene with what are still career-best T20 figures.
From then on, Garton has been a T20 regular, drawing early comparisons with Mitchell Johnson with his left-arm sling action.
To date, he’s taken 72 wickets in 81 T20 matches.
Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore (IPL) – Dubai, 29 September 2021
Another debut, another impact.
Named as a replacement for Kane Richardson in the remainder of the IPL 2021 season, Garton would play five matches in the tournament – including their Eliminator defeat – taking three wickets.
On debut, alongside a star-studded line-up that included Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers and Mohammed Siraj, Garton dismissed Evin Lewis to help secure a seven-wicket victory.
It would be a platform for Garton, who bowled with control throughout the campaign, earning his England debut four months later.
Welsh Fire v Southern Brave (The Hundred) – Sophia Gardens, 22 August 2022.
It’s not easy to pick out Garton’s best game in The Hundred.
The Southern Brave seamer has taken a 3-fer in each of the three editions of the tournament, whilst also lifting the trophy in its inaugural year.
During the final, Garton broke Birmingham Phoenix’s hearts, dismissing David Bedingham with his second ball and taking a vital catch on the boundary to dismiss Miles Hammond.
But the standout game has to be a year later.
Again, trusted with the new ball, Garton removed Jacob Bethell, Josh Cobb and Ben Duckett, with his second, fourth and seventh balls to demonstrate his opening talent.
Finishing with figures of 15 balls, 12 dots and three wickets, Garton proved he’s the man for the big occasion.
Sussex v Essex – (Bob Willis Trophy) Hove, 15-18 August 2020
Garton still has aspirations to play red-ball cricket and with 26 First Class matches under his belt there’s a platform to build.
Enduring Covid and injury, Garton is ready to fight for a County Championship place, having taken the franchise world by storm.
The pick of his First Class matches was a thriller. Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer combined for 16 Sussex wickets as the visitors secured a three-wicket victory, but Garton dug deep to show his ability with a shiny red cherry.
Dan Lawrence, Alastair Cook, Paul Walter, Aaron Beard, Matt Quinn, Alastair Cook (again), Nick Browne, Ryan ten Doeschate and Dan Lawrence (again) were his victims as he finished with a career-best 5 for 26 in the first innings and four for 50 in the second.
Bittersweet for sure, but an impressive performance nonetheless.
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