Chris Pepper is the Gooch/Insole Scholarship holder for 2015/2016. We caught up with him in his Essex home and put 10 questions to him.
1. Okay Chris, the most important question first, you’ve probably been talking to some of the former scholarship holders about us, what have they told you?
A. I’ve heard it’s a great club, with great people, in a nice area near the coast, with warm weather with lots to do. I’ve been told we are a relatively new team with a desire to improve and play competitive cricket, whist having a good time
2. Can you name all of the other Essex players who have come to Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club?
A. Daniel Lawrence and Jaik Mickleburgh
3. How did you get started in cricket?
A. I started playing on my annual family holiday to South Africa (where my mother is from and the team I support), on my grandparents farm, with my brother, dad and cousin. I then joined a small village club in Wendens Ambo at the age of 9 and continued playing from there.
4. Tell us a bit about your cricket, from what we hear, you’re a decent bat and a handy fast bowler.
A. I am a right-handed middle order batsman. I look to be positive as much as possible. I am a right-handed medium fast swing bowler. I also value myself as a handy fielder in the cover/point area whilst also being confident in the slips.
5. What are your ambitions in cricket?
A. To play professional cricket for Essex County Cricket Club in the next few years. Would love to play international cricket after that (as most would), but still got a lot to learn and improve on before.
6. From a cricketing point of view, what do you hope to get out of your time in Australia?
A. I would like to learn and adapt to different playing conditions, learning to deal with different challenges such as faster and flatter wickets. As well as improving my all round game to better me for the future.
7. Is there a travel destination to which you hope to get while you are in Australia?
A. I would like to see other parts of Australia such as Sydney and the Gold Coast, whilst potentially visiting an island off the coast such as Fiji if the time allows.
8. What has been the biggest thrill/achievement of your cricket career so far?
A. Scoring 98* for the London & East of England against the North in a tricky situation. Of course representing Essex academy and the second eleven are also up there, as well as representing England U17 invitational elven. Travelling to Sri Lanka with four other academy players last year for a cricket camp was also a highlight of my career.
9. Who is your cricketing hero?
A. Jacques Kallis. Best all-rounder of all time in my opinion. I am a huge fan of his.
10. Who is going to win the Ashes series from here?
A. I think it will be an Australian win, when the bowling and batting clicks in the final two games.