Bud Bailey has declared himself fit and willing to spearhead the Norfolk bowling attack next season following his release from Northamptonshire.
The 19-year-old paceman, from Watton, has not been offered terms by Northants for the 2010 season because of his ongoing injury problems, and Bailey is currently weighing up his options.
“I’m just seeing how it goes at the moment because obviously it’s only just happened and I’ve got plenty of time to think about it,” he said. “I haven’t really decided what I’m doing yet, but if something comes up I’ll consider it and if nothing happens I’ll go from there.”
He has yet to receive any offers following his departure from Northants, but said he would be interested in playing Minor Counties cricket for Norfolk next season. He would appear to fit the bill, with Norfolk crying out for seam bowling options to complement their strong spin attack and Bailey said: “I still want to stay with cricket so if they offered me something I think I would take that, definitely.
“I’m hoping to play for Swardeston next year – it depends how everything else works out and if I get a job. You have to plan for other things as well but I’m hoping to do that.”
Bailey – real name Shaun – made his first class debut for Northants in 2008 against Essex after coming through the county’s academy, but a recurring stress fracture of the shin hampered his chances of further appearances for the first team.
He played eight games for the Northants second XI last season in Second XI Championship and Trophy matches, taking 18 wickets, but he also had a spell on the sidelines with the shin injury and admitted his release did not come as a huge surprise.
“When I spoke to them last year they said if I got injured again there could be a possibility that I might not get a contract,” he said. “I got injured this year so it was in the back of my mind and it was not a massive shock. It was definitely a disappointment though.”
Speaking about the decision to release Bailey, Northants head coach David Capel indicated that the teenager’s injury problems had affected his passion for the game, but said the county had not closed the door on him. Capel said: “I see that Shaun has potential, so if he ever rediscovers the necessary ingredients and that love for the game, we will be pleased to have another look.”
Bailey himself did not disagree with that assessment, adding: “It’s probably fair to say that. Being injured, you do get down and that makes it difficult.”
He is now determined to work hard on his physical condition over the winter months: “My fitness is fine,” he said. “I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been because I’ve had plenty of time to work on it. I’ve been in the gym six days a week working purely on fitness.”
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press