Bury’s Comber hoping for a return to first-class

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Michael Comber has admitted he would jump at the chance to play first-class cricket again.

The 25-year-old all-rounder, who was released by Essex in 2012, has rediscovered his love for the game this season.

Comber has starred with the bat for both Bury St Edmunds in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League and Suffolk in the Minor Counties Championship.

His form led Justin Bishop, who has just stood down as Suffolk skipper, to suggest Comber is good enough to be given another chance in the first-class arena.

Comber scored 565 championship runs at an average of 51.36 for Suffolk, with a top score of 194, against Northumberland at Jesmond.

“I decided to play for Bury St Edmunds and committed myself for the whole season to playing for Suffolk and doing some part-time work for my dad,” Comber said.

“As I didn’t have a lot of time to practise my skills I decided to concentrate on my batting because I knew I was not fit enough bowling-wise, but then I realised I was missing bowling.

“I have really enjoyed it and I am now thinking I would like to play first-class cricket again. The game doesn’t owe me anything, but if I keep doing the right things and get a chance I intend to take it with both hands.

“My only regret is that I didn’t play last season when I should have been doing what I have done this season.”

Comber made his first-class debut against Bangladesh in 2010 — one of just two first-class appearances — and also featured in eight List A and three T20 matches.

“When I think about my career I don’t know if I was good enough as I only had one championship game at Essex,” said the all-rounder.

“If I was offered the chance to play first-class cricket again I would jump at it 100 per cent. After a year out it would be very pleasing for me, after thinking my career was finished at the age of 24.”

Comber’s 194 at Northumberland was his highest ever individual score, eclipsing the 191 he made for Essex II against Northants.

“That 194 was my most enjoyable innings, especially after coming into bat in the third over when we were three wickets down for just three runs and batting for most of the day,” he said.

Comber almost bowled Suffolk to victory on the final day of the season, taking the new ball and returning figures of 18-7-44-4 as the visitors’ last pair clung on for a draw.

He said: “Against Hertfordshire it was the first time I have taken the new ball this season. Last year I was opening the bowling all the time for Clacton.”

And Comber put his renaissance this season down to the faith shown in him by Suffolk coach Bobby Flack.

“I can’t thank Bobby enough he has gone out of his way to help me, and I really appreciate everything he has done for me.”