Since making his 2nd XI debut in 2018 for Sussex Cricket, Alastair Orr has recently signed his first professional contract with the club and has also been part of their player pathway from a young age. Last month, Alastair played for Loughborough University against Leicestershire where he scored 60 runs and amongst his other matches so far, he represented London and South East in 2019 at the annual Super 4s competition. Alastair is now looking forward to his first professional season with Sussex and hoping to make his 1st team debut with the club. We caught up with Alastair recently, who talks about signing his first professional contract with Sussex Cricket, last month’s match for Loughborough University and his ongoing cricket training.
You’ve recently signed your first professional contract with Sussex Cricket, how does this feel and how are you finding the experience so far?
It makes me feel incredibly humbled to be offered my first professional contract as it’s been something I have been working towards since I first found my love for the game. It’s been a challenging experience to start with as being surrounded by England international players is quite daunting however it is something that motivates me to try and get to their level in the future.
When and how did you find out that Sussex wanted to sign you?
I received a phone call in the morning to tell me I was being offered one, which was quite a shock at the time!
What are you most looking forward to for your first season with the club?
I’m looking forward to being round the squad of players more regularly and hopefully pushing myself to try and make my 1st team debut.
You made your 2nd XI debut in 2018, how has it been playing for them over the years?
Playing for the 2nd XI really is a first taste for 1st team cricket as just last week when we played Middlesex they had Steven Finn playing for them who has played multiple formats of cricket for England.
You first represented the county at the age of ten and are part of Sussex’s player pathway, can you say more about this?
Being part of the pathway for so long has really been such a roller coaster as from a young age there are so many ups and downs with not being selected in teams then suddenly an opportunity opens itself up and very quickly things can change as seen in my case.
You recently played for Loughborough University against Leicestershire, how was this?
It was a great experience playing for the university as it was at a new ground I had never played at and against a strong Leicestershire 1st team, it just so happened that I was very fortunate to be feeling good and played well!
How do you prepare for a match and what does your training usually consist of?
Preparation for a game is massive as I’ve learnt more, as not only do you need to train hard but you need to sleep well in the coming days and fuel your body with the right food, and most importantly keep yourself well hydrated. Training mostly consists of three to five days a week depending on the match schedule with running in the morning then into contested net sessions, then some fielding then finally gym.
Do you have any matches coming up in the near future?
There are lots of fixtures coming up, this consists of 2nd team and 1st team games which hopefully I will be competing to play in as many of these as possible.
What are some of your career highlights so far?
My career highlights so far would be scoring 60 against Leicestershire for Loughborough, as well as representing London and South East at the annual Super 4s competition in 2019.
Have you been given any advice for your cricket career that has stuck with you and what advice would you give a young person starting out?
I have been given many bits of information over my years growing up, the most important bit of information I ever received was “watch the ball”, it may sound so simple and easy but it makes the game a lot simpler in my head which is the main thing, but also feeling confident in yourself and the people you surround yourself with.
Where does your love of cricket come from and have you always wanted to do it professionally?
My love for cricket came from just playing from such a young age and watching it so much growing up. To start with, I just wanted to enjoy playing the game but when I got told I had some talent I thought it would be a waste to not work extremely hard to see where that got me.
Did you have any cricketers that inspired you when growing up?
I was always a massive supporter of Australian keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist and Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara.
How do you like to spend your time away from cricket?
I enjoy playing other sports like tennis and golf, and just spending time with my close friends and family. I am also a massive fan of going on holiday and experiencing new places!
What do you enjoy most about having a cricket career?
I think the thing I enjoy most about being given the opportunity to have a career in something I have a passion for is not only the enjoyment and love I have for the game, but also being able to accomplish something very few people are able to do.
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