A delighted Matthew Fisher has admitted he will have to get some swotting up done after his Hundred selection for the Northern Superchargers.
Yorkshire fast bowler Fisher was one of five new players drafted by coach Darren Lehmann on Monday as his 16-player men’s squad nears completion.
White Rose team-mate Harry Brook was also selected alongside England quick Olly Stone, Durham seamer Matty Potts and Leicestershire spinner Callum Parkinson.
One more player, a Vitality wildcard pick, will complete the 16 much closer to the July 24 start date.
“I’ll have to have a read-up on the rules because I don’t have a clue what they are!” laughed Fisher, when speaking to yorkshireccc.com about his selection.
The 23-year-old England Lion from Sheriff Hutton Bridge was given the good news on Monday afternoon, shortly after the final draft had been completed.
“Before the draft. I kind of thought, ‘I’m not going to get picked, but anything’s a bonus’,” he said. “So when I got the email, which straightaway said, ‘Congratulations’, I was buzzing.
“I was beaming with a big small all day.”
Fisher joins a squad which includes Yorkshire colleagues Brook, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid and David Willey. Durham trio Ben Stokes, Brydon Carse and Potts are also contracted.
“There are quite a few Yorkshire and Durham players (involved),” continued Fisher.
“The affinity to Headingley and to Yorkshire, being from around this area, is massive (for the Yorkshire players).
“It seems like it’s been a philosophy to get players who knew each other and knew their games. Hopefully that will be a positive going into the competition.
“I think it’s quite a good strategy, and hopefully we can all gel pretty quickly because we are not together for long at all beforehand.”
With the positive noises from the government on Monday regarding the return of crowds to sporting events from as early as April with pilots and then hopefully full houses from mid-June, the Hundred would seem ideally placed to capitalise on the hunger of cricket lovers to see the game live again.
And Fisher believes full houses at Headingley will be a significant boost to the Superchargers’ hopes of title success.
He said: “Hopefully the crowds will be similar to what we get for Yorkshire games. We know how they react and support us when we do well, and how they get on other teams’ backs.
“We will try and use that support to help us get wins and create a bit of a fortress.”
Fisher, who has only played 27 career T20 fixtures, has been around the county circuit since 2013, when he debuted for Yorkshire in a one-day game aged 15.
But he remains in the infancy of a career which has been so far hampered by injuries yet promises so, so much.
This experience, he insists, will accelerate his development given the opportunity to rub shoulders with the likes of Stokes, coach Lehmann and overseas trio Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
He added: “Being around international calibre players, and not just one or two, is going to be one of the biggest things for me.
“At Yorkshire, you might get one every season. I know two of our overseas players are batters, but the more international experience in your team, the more you will learn.
“I’ve been chatting to Brooky a bit about it with him having been picked up as well. And we were saying that it’s just that bit more of a step up to international cricket, which is where we want to be.
“We’ve got potential, we know that. But we’ve got to prove it now.
“Hopefully, getting this opportunity, we can take it with both hands and try to fulfil our dreams through playing at this level.
“Results and performances at this level will definitely be seen by England.”
All-rounder Stokes is the Superchargers’ centrally contracted England player, and without doubt their star name.
Breaking off from his preparations for tomorrow’s third Test against India in Ahmedabad, he said: “With the Hundred being postponed last year, it’s added even more excitement to it this year.
“The teams have changed a lot after the draft from last year, and it’s exciting times. The fact we might be able to have crowds in adds to that.
“We (Superchargers) have a very good squad. I think we’ve got all bases covered.
“We’ve kept the core the same but have made some very good signings.
“Olly Stone, we’ve seen how he’s progressed over the past couple of years.
“You hear the phrase X-factor get thrown around a lot, and it gets labelled at people who can bowl quick. And Stoney is one of those.
“He’s been very impressive on this England tour, and I’d rather have him on my team and just bowling at me in the nets rather than out in the middle.”
Australia women’s international Alyssa Healy has also been announced as a Northern Supercharger for the women’s competition, which runs alongside the men. All game days are double headers.
She will been joined by her former Yorkshire Diamonds team-mate Alice Davidson-Richards, the pair having played together in the 2019 Kia Super League competition.
The women’s squad, not completed via a draft system like the men, still has five places to fill in their allocation of 15.
Superchargers men (in order of draft picks): Ben Stokes, Aaron Finch (captain, overseas), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (overseas), Chris Lynn (overseas), Adil Rashid, Adam Lyth, David Willey, Olly Stone, Matty Potts, Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Callum Parkinson, John Simpson.
Superchargers women: Lauren Winfield-Hill (captain), Hollie Armitage, Nicola Carey (overseas), Alice Davidson-Richards, Helen Fenby, Alyssa Healy (overseas), Bess Heath, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Linsey Smith.