Tymal Mills has the fear factor, says Mildenhall skipper
- Credit: PA
International batsmen will fear the pace of bowler Tymal Mills just as much as Suffolk club cricketers once did.
So says Mildenhall Cricket Club captain Ben Shepperson after his former team-mate – one of the most explosive bowlers in the world with consistent deliveries of more than 90mph – received a first-ever call-up to the England T20 squad ahead of next month’s game against Sri Lanka.
Having grown up in Brandon, Mills, 23, made his senior debut for Mildenhall at the age of 15 and was soon snapped up by Essex. He moved on to Sussex in 2014 but a serious back condition has recently forced him to focus on the shorter formats of the game.
“Everyone at the club is absolutely delighted for him,” said batsman Shepperson. “He’s a really down to earth lad that doesn’t forget his roots. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like him. Mind you, there are plenty that didn’t like batting against him!
“It’s just a battle of survival against him really, you just want to emerge unscathed. You get the arm guard on and if it bounces in his half you make sure you duck quickly, while if it bounces in your half then you just pray you get the bat on the ball. No batsman, at any level, wants to face him.”
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With Mills having tweeted his thanks to everyone at Tuddenham and Mildenhall Cricket Clubs for helping him on his journey, Shepperson said: “When he first came to us at 14, he was pretty hard to control.
“Everyone who played against him feared him and, to be honest, we feared him as well because we didn’t know what he’d do with the ball. I don’t think he did either.
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“There were frustrating times when he would go for a lot of runs and he didn’t know why, but we nurtured him and the speed of his improvement was remarkable.
“Halfway through one season it just clicked for him, that’s when Essex came calling and once he joined them he took things to another level.”
Shepperson, whose team are currently top of the Two Counties Championship, added: “We have one of ‘T’s’ signed Essex shirts up in the pavilion and hopefully we’ll have a Three Lions one to add to it. It’s great for the club and is all anyone is talking about.
“This is really exciting for us as a cricket club and hopefully will help us attract even more talent.”