George Maddy admits it was a "lovely surprise" to receive a rookie contract from Warwickshire last month and then make his first-team debut aged just 16.
Bears player pathway product Maddy, a wicketkeeper/batsman, was awarded a rookie contract for the Royal London Cup after senior keeper Michael Burgess was injured.
He played two games, against Durham and Somerset, and looked comfortable in first-team cricket. He claimed his first catch, off Liam Norwell, and acquitted himself well as he followed his father Darren, who had a long and distinguished career with Leicestershire, Warwickshire and England, into county cricket.
“It’s been really exciting,” said George. “I can’t believe I’m actually in this position now and I’m really grateful.
“I knew on the Friday that I’d be playing against Durham on the Sunday. I didn’t really know what to expect but had played in the warm-up game against Cheshire so had a taste of it there.
“Of course there were a few nerves going in but it was nice playing at Edgbaston in front of our home crowd and as soon as the first over went I relaxed into it and it was just like any game of cricket. I was nervous but more excited. As a wicketkeeper you are in the game all the time but between overs I had a look round and saw my family and friends in one of the stands which was good.
“To get a contract for the Royal London was a lovely surprise. I wasn’t expecting it because I knew Burgy was in great form. I was really happy to get it and now I’ll just keep working hard in the winter and hopefully in the future I can extend that.
“I signed one or two autographs on the day of the Durham game and signed them by dad’s name and he’s got one if the nicest signatures in Warwickshire cricket. It’s nice that people know me but it’s good that dad wasn’t a wicketkeeper/batter or I would have a lot to live up to!”
Darren and George become the first father and son to represent Warwickshire since 1987 when Neil Smith made his debut to follow dad MJK as a Bears first-teamer.
It was a proud moment for Maddy senior, who played 197 games across the formats for the Bears between 2007 and 2013.
“I was up in the Wyatt Stand watching and very proud,” said Darren. “It brought back memories of my debut for Leicestershire against Derbyshire way back in 1993. I was very nervous, especially when I went into bat, but George was really calm. He wasn’t intimidated or overawed and he did very well.
“There is the pressure of expectation when your dad played first class cricket and it is something that George has always dealt with really well. I think it helps that he has his own identity. He is a completely different player to me – a wicketkeeper and left-hand bat.
“He is also very level-headed and loves the game. Ever since he was old enough he has wanted to have a bat or ball in his hand and to play and catch. In many ways he is still a boy in a man’s world and he has a lot to learn but he’s made a very good start.”