CRICKET: BERKSWELL paceman Ryan Sidebottom described his rise into Warwickshire’s first team as ‘unbelievable’.
The 28-year-old, whose impressive performances with Berkswell earned him a spot in Warwickshire’s first team this season, has already signed up for Bears’ 2018 campaign.
And he’s determined to make the most of his second chance in first-class cricket.
Born in Australia, Sidebottom’s career in his homeland was cut short by a foot injury – meaning he was released by his native Victoria after playing just one game.
The release prompted Sidebottom to launch a career in the UK.
He put pen to paper with Berkswell and joined the club in April of this year, a move which ultimately guided him to a four-wicket haul at Lord’s while on first-class debut with the Bears later that season.
The turnaround left Sidebottom pinching himself.
He said: “The plan was just to play for Berkswell, enjoy what club cricket had to offer and learn a bit more about my game.
“Berkswell have been great. I don’t think I could have asked for a better club. I honestly feel as if I’ve been part of the place for years instead of six months.
“The opportunity came up at Warwickshire and I have loved every moment of it.
“It’s been fantastic and it’s very exciting to have a whole season to look forward to next year.”
Sidebottom is set to play a major role for the Bears next season after a winter spent back home in Victoria.
Though he wont’ play much cricket, the Warwickshire man said he hopes to hit the ground running on his return to the UK.
He said: “I’ll get home in mid-October, have a bit of a rest, then build myself up and hopefully hit the ground running and get stuck in to a full season of county cricket.
“I might play a couple of games during the winter with my four brothers. To have the five Sidebottom boys in one team would be fantastic. My three older brothers play for Tallygaroopna, though it’s a bit more difficult for Steele with his AFL commitments.
“They are chuffed for me getting my chance at Warwickshire because they know cricket has been a massive part of my life.
“I try to speak to them as often as possible because they have backed me 100 per cent to get me to where I am today and it’s fantastic to have that support.”