19 year old Emilio Gay is keeping one eye on a first team debut after a productive start to the year.
A graduate of the Northamptonshire junior system, Gay has been at the county since under 15 level, making his way through the EPP and Academy programs to now find a regular place in the second eleven.
“I’m delighted to have come through the ranks at Northants” Gay said.
“To be here from a young age for the same county, that’s always nice to say and all I can think of now is just trying to do my best for the 2s.”
Gay has certainly made a bright start in senior cricket, having played just ten second eleven fixtures the left-hander already has two centuries to his name. The most recent came just last week as Northamptonshire chased a mammoth 377 to win by nine wickets against Warwickshire. After reaching a half century in the first innings, Gay combined with Charlie Thurston to post a stand of 219 for the first wicket. Both batsmen passed 100 with Gay going on to finish 186 not out.
“The last few days have been overwhelming to say the least. It was a very competitive game of cricket, we were chasing a big score, so to knock that down with just 1 down was such a good feeling.
Me and Charlie bat well together, we’ve put on a few partnerships in the past so it was nice to do it again, especially with an old Bedford school boy. The plan was just to take it ball by ball, 10 overs here and there, get to 50, get to 100 just go through little stages and partnerships and build from there.” Gay said.
Coach David Sales was full of praise for the young opener after the match.
“He’s batting nicely and great application, he left the ball well. Both innings he had to go in with 8 overs to go at the end of play to get through that where obviously they came hard at us, he managed the situations both days and then today’s batting with Charlie Thurston, the partnership they put on was absolutely phenomenal.” he said.
This isn’t the first time Gay has posted half centuries in both innings this year with scores of 80 and 72 against Lancashire in April. Gay was part of the Academy’s first overseas tour in February, joining the squad in South Africa and said the experience has helped his early season form.
“Getting time out in the middle in February is priceless really because it’s so different to indoor nets. It was also just nice to be in a team environment again, in the winter you’re all training but to be in certain match scenarios, particularly that time of year it just sets you up for the season. It definitely set the academy boys up, it was a confidence booster which is always nice to have and a great experience as well.” he said.
Ultimately though Gay said it’s hard work and dedication that produces his on field results.
“I did a lot of training with Northants in the winter but then me and my father do a lot of netting elsewhere too, getting up early in the morning, 4 or 5 am sometimes and just really working hard. I haven’t changed my game or my prep, it’s always been the same it’s just a case of putting in the hours and believing in myself.” he said.
When asked about his future ambitions, the answer was simple.
“My goal for this year really is to play first team cricket, that’d be a great feeling to make my debut and hopefully get a contract at the end of the year. I’m not looking too far ahead, just taking it game by game, working hard and trying to score the most runs I can.” Gay said.