Tom Craddock, the Essex leg-spinning cricketer, visited the Royal Hospital School last week to offer some advice to a group of young wrist and finger spinners.
The 24-year-old Yorkshireman met ten wrist (leg-spinner and googly) and three finger spin bowlers and talked to them about the challenging way in which he progressed into the professional game. He also described his experience last summer when bowling to the England team when he claimed a fine 5-wicket haul against the Test side.
RHS Master in Charge of Cricket, Don Topley, said, “The RHS cricketers had a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the art of spin bowling and the challenging craft of leg-spinning from a current professional. It is not often the RHS young cricketers get to speak with someone who dismissed Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Swann and Finn in the same innings!”
One RHS and Essex U15 spinner, Toby Allday said, “Tom was excellent as he gave us an insight into his rigid and disciplined season and game preparation, and offered us many drills in order to develop our bowling.”
The Royal Hospital School has a number of talented spin bowlers including three County, two District and seven school representative spinners and Tom Craddock was surprised saying “I was really impressed with the young spinners on show. To be honest it’s fantastic to see so many leg-spinners from just the one school!”
The School already has a historic connection with Essex County Cricket Club as Craddock’s team-mate, and England Lions bowler, Reece Topley, is a former pupil of the School, as is Reece’s father, Don Topley, who took nearly 600 first class and one day wickets for the county.