Cricket: Jonny Tattersall admits he is surprised by turnaround as he prepares to don keeping gloves for Yorkshire
Jonny Tattersall was always confident he would be able to get back into county cricket after being released by Yorkshire in 2015, but the former England under 19s man admits he was surprised that his second chance came at Emerald Headingley.
Tattersall, 24, is brimming with confidence on the eve of the new season and, he says, feeling completely at home in the first-team environment after a couple of pre-season centuries at home and abroad.
His tale is quite a remarkable one, especially when you consider he is likely to keep wicket for the majority of this season, starting with Friday’s Specsavers County Championship opener against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Prior to last winter, he was just a batsman who hadn’t even kept in second-team cricket, just doing bits of it as a junior.
But the White Rose hierarchy saw something in him to believe he could be a success behind the stumps. And so it has proved.
He ousted Andrew Hodd as the county’s understudy to Jonny Bairstow last May and encouraged in all formats with bat and gloves.
Over the last few weeks, he has scored red ball centuries against Durham in Potchefstroom and Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Weetwood.
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His unbeaten 135 against the students on Monday - a match which Yorkshire won by an innings - was his maiden first-class century after two previous fifties last summer.
“I’m looking forward to starting in the first team,” said the Harrogate-born right-hander. “That’s the main thing this season. You strive for that, and it’s a reward for all the hard work I put in last year.
“I feel more relaxed now. Scoring runs certainly helps with that, and hopefully I can maintain what I’m doing.
“My goals have changed this season. Last year I wanted to get into the first team, and now I want to really excel as best I can and win games for the team.
“I’m fully expecting to play most of, if not all of, the season given Jonny’s international commitments. It’s a great opportunity.”