Bowled over by the figures
Martyn Wilkins is comfortable with the term ‘veteran cricketer’, having been playing the game for 47 years – but his abilities are fast approaching legendary.
The 55-year-old Haverhill cricketer, who mostly turns out for the club’s second string, is the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship’s most economical bowler with a wicket every 17.18 runs on average, an economy rate of 2.8.
He takes the top spot after bowling the most amount of overs at 135, including 28 maidens, and taken 22 wickets for 378 runs.
“It’s very nice to see,” he said. “But it’s one of those games where your next disaster is one game, even one ball, away.
“So I’m just going with the flow for now, but it is nice to know I’m bowling so well.”
He laughed that he was still able to ‘show the kids how it’s done’ – with his best bowling figures so far as 4-27 – as he said he enjoyed passing on his knowledge.
“I’ve always been a competitor and I enjoy playing,” he said. “I’ve still got a lot to show the younger players I think.
“And passing on that knowledge.”
The club’s second team, who compete in Division Three of the Two Counties Championship, have had mixed fortunes so far – with the season at the halfway point – they sit in eighth (of 12).
Captain Joey Kettle said: “Martyn is a captain’s dream, he gives control throughout the innings.
“He produces results, week in, week out. The fact that he is always good for 15 overs, allows me to plan my other bowlers around him.
“He is the key to our bowling innings. Martyn makes life as a captain a lot easier. And he’s still nimble in the field as well, even after 15 overs.
“Interestingly, we haven’t won a game when Martyn has opened the bowling, so that shows how important he is to us as a bowling unit.
“We need him to bowl at the death, or as close to it as possible.”
And Luke Youngs – who has scored two centuries in his last three outings for the first side in Division Two – also sits top of the batting statistics, with 646 runs from 11 fixtures.
He has had an impressive return to his boyhood club – and is already in the record books with the third highest knock from a club player of 176, as he also took his first century at Haverhill’s Manor Road ground.
The wicketkeeper has had a big impact since his return from EAPL side Mildenhall at the start of the year, with the first team 19 points clear at the top of the division.