Alex Thomson recently qualified as a teacher but for him 2018 is not so much about teaching – it’s all about learning.
Spin-bowling all-rounder Thomson was a surprise entrant to Warwickshire’s first-team last season when he played in the last two championship games and impressed sufficiently to earn a year’s contract.
So now, instead of embarking upon a career as a P.E teacher, the 24-year-old’s thoughts are firmly on establishing himself as a professional cricketer – with a view to keeping classroom life on hold for quite a while.
There is a lot of competition for places so I have just got to work hard and try to impress and if I can play some first-team cricket that would be great.Alex Thomson
“Teaching has gone on the backburner for the moment,” Thomson said. “I was thrilled to get a contract with Warwickshire for 2018 and now I just want to do all I can to keep learning and improving as a cricketer. There are top quality coaches and players here to learn from and looking round the dressing-room it’s clear that everybody is really hungry to bounce back from last season.
“There is a lot of competition for places so I have just got to work hard and try to impress and if I can play some first-team cricket that would be great.”
At 24, Stoke-on-Trent-born Thomson is a relatively late entrant into county cricket, but then so were Andy Moles, Keith Barker and others who for various reasons took time to step up but then flourished. He was spotted by the Bears having impressed for Leek CC, Staffordshire and Cardiff MCCU for whom he played four first-class games.
Thomson has developed through all the key channels – club, minor county and university cricket. Then last summer came the big step up for the Bears.
“I was playing for the 2nds against Bangladesh A at Barnt Green,” he recalls. “I got out second ball and Tony Frost came over and I thought I was going to get a telling off. Instead he said they were impressed with what I had been doing and asked if I would be interested in playing for the first team up at Yorkshire the following week. Of course, I grabbed his hand off.
“The day before the game it was confirmed that I was playing and then it was just fantastic to be out there with players of that calibre. It was not an ideal start – a duck – but after that in two games I scored three twenties and didn’t feel out of my comfort zone. That had a lot to do with the management who told me not to worry and just to go out there and enjoy the experience. That helped a lot.
“It was also really helpful that I had played for Cardiff MCCU. The set-up at Cardiff is based very much around how first-class cricket operates which was great. I think the MCC universities scheme helps massively with young players making the transition to county cricket. Now I just want to make the most of my opportunity with Warwickshire.”