Warwickshire come calling for Culford School's Oxley
Culford School pupil Alex Oxley says he cannot wait to get started after being offered a place on the Warwickshire Academy, writes Nick Garnham.
It is a big step towards the opening batsman, who turns 18 next month, fulfilling his ambitions of becoming a first-class cricketer.
The former Woolpit and Bury St Edmunds player received an email confirming the offer a couple of days after returning from a tour to Sri Lanka with the Warwickshire Academy.
He said: “It was a great opportunity to go away with them and an opportunity for them to see my characteristics. I had a reasonably good tour and to get the email was really exciting.
“It is what I have been working towards over the last few years, and I now can’t wait to get started.
“I will be travelling up to Warwickshire twice a week for nets until the season starts and then every Friday right through until September.”
He was recommended to Warwickshire by their former captain and England opening batsman Nick Knight, who now lives in west Suffolk.
Oxley continued: “I will be playing for their under-19 side, and if I do well I will get my chance in the 2nd XI and see where it takes me.
“I know I have a big season ahead and hopefully I can take the opportunities when they come my way and earn a pro contract.
“I am on the bottom rung of the ladder right now and will be looking to climb my way up, and with the coaches I have got, I know I am in good hands.”
Oxley, then at Woolpit, became Suffolk’s youngest player since the Second World War when he made his debut in the Unicorns Championship match at Northumberland in June 2017.
He was just 16 years and 60 days old on the opening day of the match, eclipsing the record held by Nadeem Shahid, who went on to play for Essex and Surrey.
Oxley will still be available to play for Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League this season and also Suffolk, if selected.
He added: “I am grateful to Martin Eales, who coached me at Woolpit, and Andy Northcote, who has coached me at Culford School and Suffolk for putting their trust and time in me.”