Suffolk bowler Matt Hunn sets sights on first-class career

STANDING 6ft, 5in tall it is no surprise that Matt Hunn is aiming high.

The 18-year-old Suffolk pace bowler has his sights firmly set on a first-class career.

He has already played twice for Essex 2nd XI this season and has a trial lined-up with Warwickshire this month as he tries to earn a contract with a first-class county.

Hunn has made rapid strides since making his Minor Counties Championship debut almost exactly a year ago. He was called up to the full Suffolk side, along with Sudbury team-mate Adam Mansfield, to face Buckinghamshire at Ipswich School, and took three wickets including that of ex-Surrey and Leicestershire batsman James Benning.

He has since established himself as not only a regular in the side, playing in every championship match, but as skipper Justin Bishop’s regularly opening bowling partner.

Hunn took time off from his ‘A’ Level studies at St Joseph’s College earlier this summer to play two three-day matches for Essex 2nd XI – against Glamorgan at Southend, where he took two for 11 in the second innings off six overs, and in a rain-affected game against Hampshire on the nursery ground at the Aegas Rose Bowl.

“I was also asked to play against Middlesex, but I had missed a lot of school work, so had to turn that chance down! I am now waiting to hear if other opportunities come along with Essex,” he said.

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Hunn, who has now finished his exams, continued: “I have got a trial with Warwickshire, possibly followed by a couple of 2nd XI games. I will see how that goes and then go from there.

“I would like to think I am good enough. My coaches have said I do have a chance – I just have to work hard and put the hours in and hopefully I will get an opportunity.

“There is a possibility of trials with a couple of other counties, but if nothing comes of them I will be going to Perth in Western Australia for six months in the winter.”

His destination will be Subiaco Marist Cricket Club, and the trip has been arranged through former Surrey and Ireland cricketer Mark Patterson, who is now director of sport at St Joseph’s and played at the club when he was a youngster.

“Hopefully it will not only help me develop as a player but also as a person. I will be going there not knowing anyone and it will be a different experience for me playing on different pitches and as a pro. There will be a lot of pressure on me.”

Like so many young fast bowlers Hunn has experienced injury problems in the past.

He explained: “My left leg is slightly longer than the right leg, and when I grew at under-14 level it put my back out to the extent I did not bowl during the whole season. I saw a specialist and was told within two or three years I would stop growing, but I have continued to grow since!”

Hunn has certainly continued to grow in stature since his former PE teacher Chris Branch, who plays for Easton, suggested he join the village side.

He spent two years with Easton before the opportunity arose to join Sudbury ahead of their inaugural season in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League last year, and his career hasn’t looked back since.

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