Feature: Jonny Tattersall’s whirlwind summer just the beginning

Sheffiedl Colleigate v Yorkshire at Abbeydale Park,,,,,Hitting out Yorks Johnny Tattersall
Sheffiedl Colleigate v Yorkshire at Abbeydale Park,,,,,Hitting out Yorks Johnny Tattersall

Jonny Tattersall is a small cricketer making a big impression.

The Knaresborough teenager has had a whirlwind summer.

Sheffiedl Colleigate v Yorkshire at Abbeydale Park,,,,,Yorks Johnny Tattersall signs autographs for youngsters

Sheffiedl Colleigate v Yorkshire at Abbeydale Park,,,,,Yorks Johnny Tattersall signs autographs for youngsters

He broke into the Yorkshire county set-up, captained the national U-19 side and even hurtled around the Headingley outfield as 12th man for the full England squad.

But the 18-year-old recognises the hard work is only just beginning.

Last week he signed a two-year junior contract at Yorkshire, signifying a passage from the county’s academy squad into the second XI.

And, with two England U-19 winter tours to the UAE ahead, the pathways to show off his considerable talent continue to open.

Those tours will culminate in the U-19 World Cup.

And the challenge of tackling the world’s elite youngsters is one Tattersall is eager not only to be involved in, but impress too.

“You want to beat the best. It helps you to keep improving and wanting to be the best,” he said.

“It’s obviously not the same as the full World Cup.

“But for the players, it will be up there.

“Hopefully we can win it.”

Tattersall was vice-captain for England U-19’s summer Tri-series against Bangladesh and Pakistan.

And, with captain Ben Duckett missing for the second match against Pakistan, the former King James’s School pupil led the side.

“To captain your country is a good honour,” he said.

“They have always talked to me about playing a key role in the side. I am vice-captain but me and Ben do it together really.

“We give each other advice.”

Tattersall initially struggled to make runs in the side’s middle-order over the summer.

But, he stuck to what he knew best and scored two fifties in the series after moving up to open the batting.

Five Yorkshire players, including Tattersall, were part of that England side.

And the youngster knows being an integral part of the set-up has put him in good stead

“The coaches talk about, strong Yorkshire, strong England,” he added.

“I heard a stat, only two of the current England team did not play for the under 19’s.

“That’s a realisation that it’s not too far away if you keep doing well.”

Tattersall has got used to being a part of the national squads.

In May, he was given the opportunity to join the full England party when he took on 12th man duty throughout the Headingley Test match against New Zealand.

His role may have only been to carry out the drinks, bowl the batsmen into form and occasionally substitute a fielder.

But he grabbed it with passion, enthusiasm and a rather large jumper.

It was his attire that made him become an instant hit among the Leeds crowd, and Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd.

“I don’t think I will ever live that down,” said Tattersall.

“The Sunday it was really hot, I ended up wearing just the t-shirt.

“I asked, have you got anything smaller, medium was the smallest size they had.

“I’ve always had that problem being small.

“I enjoyed it, though. I will always remember chasing two balls to the boundary but just failing to claw them back.

“I thought I may as well throw myself around. I have nothing to lose.”

Tattersall has known cricket all his life.

From an early age he watched his dad play on the sidelines of Knaresborough’s Aspin Lane ground.

He received his first bat at just three-years-old.

And, like past England greats Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, the prestigious talent started out life as a leg-spinner before his batting “took off”.

He was spotted playing for North Yorkshire U-11’s as an eight-year-old, “turning the ball as much as I do now,” before captaining Yorkshire at every age level bar U-13’s.

“I’ve been with Yorkshire almost all my life,” said Tattersall.

“It was when I was in U-16’s, the coach suggested I should open the batting after batting at six, seven or eight.

“I thought, why not? At least I’m going to get a bat.

“It’s just gone on from there.”

After his national exploits, Yorkshire first team coach Jason Gillespie gave Tattersall his full county bow in August.

But the one day clash at home to Glamorgan didn’t quite go as dreamed.

After facing three wides, the debutant chopped his second legitimate ball onto his stumps, and departed for a duck.

“I think I was quite nervous. I didn’t move my feet. But I was unlucky to drag on from wide outside off,” he explained.

“I had given my friends a text message to let them know I was playing.

“They came rushing into the ground and the next ball they saw, I was out.

“That was a bit of a nightmare. But I really enjoyed playing in front of the crowd.”

Tattersall has modelled his style on England heroes Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell, but it is with Yorkshire teammate Joe Root whom he shares natural comparison.

Both have slight figures. And both have tremendous futures ahead.

“Apparently he was just like me,” Tattersall added.

“Small and technically correct. It was just a matter of time before he leapfrogged everyone else.

“He’s 22. That’s four years for me to develop my game and get a bit wider.”

And the youngster has been told, it’s only a matter of time before he takes a giant leap himself.

He added: “The middle of next season, the second team coach thinks I should be in the Yorkshire first team.

“He reckons when I go up, I shouldn’t be coming back.”