Not many 16-year-olds can say they have starred for their country at a World Cup, but Matthew Fisher can hold his head high in the knowledge that he was one of England’s star performers in the recent ICC Under-19s World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, writes Will Jackson.
Fisher, a fast bowler from Sheriff Hutton Bridge, finished the tournament with ten wickets as his side surpassed all expectations to finish third after narrowly missing out on a place in the final.
His name looks set to be on the lips of many a cricket fan for years to come, with his captain Will Rhodes tipping him as “one to watch”.
Having made his professional debut for Yorkshire at the age of 15, thus becoming the youngest player to play in a competitive county game, Fisher was not even expecting to be playing many games but revealed he was delighted with how the World Cup went.
He said: “We surpassed all of our expectations and personally it was nice to get a few wickets. I went out there expecting to get a couple of games but to play so much was amazing.”
Fisher was particularly eye-catching in the semi-final defeat to Pakistan. Showing maturity beyond his years, he out-thought the opposition batsmen on his way to taking 2-21 and very nearly snatching a win for his team.
Brother Adam, who is captain of Matt’s club, Sheriff Hutton Bridge, said that while he wasn’t shocked at his younger sibling’s performances, he was taken aback by the intelligence shown in his bowling.
Adam said: “He did really well, but it was what we expected. We’ve seen him swing and seam it so it wasn’t a huge surprise to us. It will have been a massive learning curve to play on some placid pitches out there and hopefully it will set him up for the summer.
“I’ve not seen him set up a batsman like that before, so it’s nice to see that he’s really learning and developing.”
In typical brotherly fashion, Matt disagrees.
“I think he’s being a bit harsh,” he said. “I like to think of myself as an intelligent bowler so when it didn’t look like the game was going to last 50 overs I decided to go a bit more attacking and it worked.”
Fisher’s intelligence and ability is matched by his ambition.
Having already played for the Yorkshire first team, he hopes that if he can put in some good performances for the Academy and second team then he might get a few more games this summer.
However, the burning ambition is to play for the full England side in the future.
“I was in Australia for the Ashes this winter and seeing their crowds and how they were, just makes you want to show them what you can do and upset them,” he said.
“The atmosphere in Dubai was amazing, there was such a buzz and that’s what you want as a player.”
Remarkably, Fisher was back at school just a couple of days after landing in the country.
On his return, he tweeted: “Back to school at lunch tomorrow! #cheersmum.”
But the teenager, who is studying for his GCSEs, has been told to get his head down at school before he can start to think about the new season.
Unfortunately, for Fisher, it looks as though he will be unavailable for the majority of the season for Sheriff Hutton Bridge, with his Yorkshire commitments taking priority.
However, he hopes that he can turn out for them if he gets a free Saturday throughout the summer.