By Richard Walsh
TOM Lammonby returned to the cricketing scene after an unwanted lay-off with an impressive 83 in a warm-up game between Somerset players.
The 17-year-old all-rounder, who grew up through the Devon age groups before signing on for the Somerset Academy, enjoyed a hugely successful summer in 2017.
Lammonby was player of the season for England U19s against a strong Indian touring side and had a successful Tri-Nations tournament against South Africa and Namibia in the run-up to the World Cup.
Sadly for the Devonian he suffered a broken bone in his hand during practice or the World Cup and flew home from New Zealand without playing in the tournament.
Despite that setback Lammonby seems to have suffered no ill effects. In his first match back since regaining full fitness, against an attack that included Jamie Overton, he batted for more than an hour and scored 83 off 41 balls which included eight fours and six sixes.
It may have only been a warm-up game, but Lammonby looked far from out of his depth against the Somerset players, some of who were twice his age.
Afterwards Lammonby said: “It was really nice to get outside on the grass again after the disappointment of missing out at the World Cup.
“To go out there and have a substantial bat was really nice, although there were a few nerves at the start, because I wanted to go out there and show what I could do to the rest of the first team.
“Once I got playing I started to feel relaxed and did my own thing. It was quite surreal to go from training in club cricket with Exeter one week to facing First Class international bowlers.
“That might be quite scary for some, but I enjoyed the challenge and relish facing the best bowlers I can.
“It was only a warm up game, and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but it was really nice to get the call from Jason Kerr and Steve Snell to say I was playing.
“To go out there and do well was the icing on the cake really for me.
“It was nice to let people know what I am capable of and I am sure there were people there who didn’t know who I was, but after this maybe they do!”
Head coach Kerr said: “Tom had an unfortunate winter and got injured, but has come back strongly and worked incredibly hard and as we saw exactly just what ability he has got.
“I thought that the first 30 runs he scored were very impressive and he showed a maturity beyond his years and read the game well, which is very exciting for the future.”
Andy Hurry the director of cricket said: “Having suffered the disappointment of breaking his hand and not going to the world cup this was his first opportunity to play, so I was pleased about how he approached it.
“There were a lot of aspects of his innings that demonstrated he has got the temperament to play white-ball cricket and I think he has got the potential as he showed the other day to become a really juicy number three or four batsman in that format.
“This is a big year for Tom because first of all he has got his exams which he has to dovetail with his cricket. Once that is over I want to see him dominating in all formats in second team cricket.”
Lammonby looks to be another young player at Somerset with a big future ahead of him, the question is not if but when will we see him pulling on a first team shirt?