Northants all-rounder Willey targets national attention
The 23-year-old has certainly played his part in the County’s march to the LV= County Championship Division Two summit.
Willey has already racked up 29 wickets, and looks well on course to better last year’s total of 43 victims, while he has also chipped in with 208 runs with the bat.
And his efforts have not gone unnoticed with Willey being one of six nominated for the LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player of the Year Award. Joe Root took the inaugural prize last season.
With Willey already tentatively following in Root’s footsteps the Northants star admits he would love to do so all the way onto the international stage.
Willey got a taste of life with England this winter and is looking for more of the same when the dust has settled on this campaign.
“It is really pleasing to be recognised this season and it is always nice that people notice your hard work and that you have been doing well,” Willey said.
“Joe Root won the first of these awards and if I could follow in his footsteps after seeing what he has gone on and done I would be chuffed to bits.
“I know that I have a long way to go and I am nowhere near being the finished article but I am eager to improve and would love to follow Joe into the England set up.
“I got invited down to an ECB bowling programme last year and it was really good and what I learned there really helped me get off to a good start this season.
“Hopefully I can continue to play some good cricket, keep putting my name out there and get the chance to go on some more ECB programmes this winter because I want to get involved with England as soon as possible.”
Willey hasn’t been the only reason to cheer at Wantage Road this season with the County flying high atop Division Two and well in the hunt for YB40 silverware.
And even if Willey is pipped to the LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player of the Year Award, he is adamant that Northants won’t end up empty handed this season.
“It has been a good season for me personally and also for Northants,” he added.
“I think we have already won more games than we managed in the whole of last season and that has built a really positive outlook among the squad.
“We are quite a young squad which has perhaps gone against us in the past but the way we have started this season everyone is determined to carry that on and hopefully the second half of the season can be just as good as the first for me and Northamptonshire.”
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