Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Academy Player Jack Charters Experience To Remember At Under-19 World Cup

Academy Player Jack Charters Experience To Remember At Under-19 World Cup

Worcestershire Academy player Jack Charters had an experience to remember when he participated in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh as part of the Fiji team.

Jack, who is a pupil at Malvern College, was Fiji's second youngest player in the tournament at the age of 16.

Here the pace bowler recalls that tournament, how he first became involved in cricket, his major influences, heroes and hopes for the future in a Question and Answer session with the Worcestershire CCC website.

Question: You were 16, you played in the Under-19 World Cup, what was that like for you?

Jack Charters: "It was obviously an amazing experience playing against that calibre of talent. There were some seriously talented players there.

"It was superb just to be part of that whole international scene even though we may not have had the best of tournaments.

"It was more about being there for Fiji cricket because coming into the tournament they were ranked in the 110s and now we are ranked 16 which is a huge jump.

"Realistically we weren't unhappy with how we performed but just making it to the tournament was a great experience for everyone involved.

Question: Were you the youngest player in the Fiji squad?

Jack Charters: "I wasn't. There was someone who just turned 16 during the tournament. It is a really young squad. I'm pretty sure most of the team is available for the next Under-19 World Cup as well.

"It will mean they've all got that experience of the World Cup and so next time that we qualify….I say that because the teams in that South-Asia Pacific Division aren't the strongest and I think Fiji will be the stand-out team for the next few years.

"Shane Jurgensen, who is the coach, has set up a real great Academy and they've got constant talent coming through."

Question: Was there a lot of media interest?

Jack Charters: "We always had a couple of questions coming through from people back home. Everyone was wondering how we were doing.

"Although cricket isn't one of the biggest sports there, there was certainly quite a lot of interest when all of the boys left from Fiji.

"Quite a lot of people turned up and when they arrived back, there was quite a lot of media waiting and surrounding them.

"No-one was disappointed, as I said. They had already been made superstars just by actually qualifying for the tournament because no-one really saw it coming.

"Papa New Guinea had dominated the East Asia Pacific for 10-15 years. We are now looking to be the next Papa New Guinea."

Question: After that excitement, was it hard to get back into studying at Malvern College?

Jack Charters: "The teachers made it clear to me that I had to do some work out there at the tournament as well. It wasn't just cricket.

"If I had spare time and we had nothing on cricket-wise on a specific day, then I'd be sitting down in my hotel room studying one of my subjects.

"It took quite a lot out of me to do but it is good to have a back-up plan just in case because injuries can come at any time."

Question: How long have you been with the Worcestershire Academy?

Jack Charters: "I've been with Worcestershire since my second year at Malvern College and in the first year I was doing a few of the skill set programmes so this would be my third year in the Academy programme."

Question: Do you think you are making progress as a bowler?

Jack Charters: "I'm loving the Academy. Myself and the coaches at school, they've noticed the changes in me as a bowler. When I first came, I would just try and run up and bowl it quick.

"Sometimes it would go down leg side, sometimes down the off side. Now I feel I've definitely got quicker but also got more control over the ball.

"I've also developed skills, especially when having been in the sub continent, like different slower balls, trying to get the ball swinging, because realistically out there (Bangladesh) the pitches don't offer much.

"It is a spinners paradise and fast bowlers seriously have to bend your back to get something out of it."

Question: I gather Noel Brett from Malvern College has been a great help?

Jack Charters: "Mr Brett helped with the next stage of my development. He was saying there aren't any really quick bowlers coming up through the ranks, but more like your Jimmy Andersons and Stuart Broads.

"I'm not saying they are slow but out and out pace bowlers….they were saying your pace can't be taught but you can always teach accuracy.

"One of my big steps I took was to lengthen my run-up quite a bit and I used it in the World Cup and apparently impressed quite a few people with the speed I could get down at for a 16-year-old.

"That is quite a big part of my development and Noel Brett and Matt Mason (Worcestershire bowling coach) have both bought into that and been helping like when I do sessions.

"It's all about trying to improve me as a bowler and I'm loving those sessions."

Question: What sort of speed do you bowl at the moment?

Jack Charters: "I didn't get clocked out there at the World Cup but I'd say maybe high 70s, early 80s. I'm just really happy with how it has been going so far."

Question: Has Matt Mason been a big help?

Jack Charters: "The guidance he gives me and all the bowlers in the academy and all of the pros, he is an amazing influence for all of us.

"Some of the tips he can give you,and some of the tricks, he is just brilliant."

Question: Is your ambition to follow in the footsteps of Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Twohig from Malvern College?

Jack Charters: "Of course. That has been my ambition since I joined the Academy. I've always wanted to play cricket professionally because ever since I started playing cricket at the age of nine-10, I've fallen in love with the game, just the way it can change within a couple of balls.

"You take a couple of quick wickets and suddenly the momentum changes completely."

Question: Who were your cricketing heroes?

Jack Charters: "My earliest cricketing memory is we moved from Fiji to England in 2005 so we just caught the 2005 Ashes so I'd have to say Andrew Flintoff.

"I remember watching what some people have called the greatest over in cricket when I think he got Ponting and Langer out at Edgbaston.

"It was the way created magic. They'd give him the ball and he'd do something for you.

"I also think Stuart Broad is starting to become one of those type of players in the modern day era."

Question: "You were born in Hong Kong, tell us about your movements after that?

Jack Charters: "I only spent a couple of months in Hong Kong and then we moved over to Fiji. I absolutely loved Fiji although I can't remember that much about it because I was very young.

"All of my family is still over there so it definitely does feel like home. I'd go over there every summer. Obviously we can't now go in the summer because that is the cricket season so we go at different times.

"I came over here when I was six and started playing cricket for the first time at my prep school Terrington Hall."

Question: I believe you took a hat-trick for Terrington Hall against Bradfield?

Jack Charters: "I was 13 and playing alongside Tom Kohler-Cadmore. Tom caught my first wicket. I'll always remember that. That was one of my favourite cricketing moments to date.

"I remember coming to the match as a real late call-up. First innings I bowled alright and don't think I took a wicket and then second innings, I think they were in quite a decent position.

"I took one wicket in my first spell and then took four in my second, including the hat-trick. The first one was lbw, then the second was lbw and then the third, as soon as it went through his gate and was on the way to the stumps, I celebrated.

"I can't remember the celebration, I think I gave it the airplane one, I was absolutely over the moon.

"I was only 13-14 in that team. Definitely one of my favourite moments so far."

Question: "You also played for the North Yorks Independent Schools team at football and East Yorks at rugby union in various age groups?

Jack Charters: "That was Under-13s. I was a goalkeeper. At that time I was a prop-second row. When I started coming here to Malvern, I was quite a chubby lad so I tried to really slim down.

"I worked with Ross Dewar (Worcestershire CCC Strengthening And Conditioning Coach) to slim me down because the more weight you carry, the more likely you are to get injuries. That is something I've really worked on."

Question: Did you have a decision on which sport to choose?

Jack Charters: "I was in the Worcester Warriors Rugby Academy during my first year at Malvern College. I made that decision in my second year to go down the cricket path.

"I love rugby but I prefer rugby playing it more for fun rather than competitively whereas with cricket I love doing it competitively, that competitve edge.

"I still play rugby for the school first team but I'm definitely more committed to cricket than my rugby."

Question: what are your aims and targets for this summer?

Jack Charters: "It will be to get my first second team game because I feel that is an achievable goal because around about this age is when you break into the second team.

"Not just to play for them, but to make an impact for them and not get just maybe the one game."

Question: Will you carry on playing for Fiji?

Jack Charters: "I believe the rule is, because Fiji is a two tier nation, you can go from a two tier nation to a tier one nation but I'm not allowed to play for England at Under-19 level."

Question: "When you are back in school, is it hard when got aspirations to be a professional sportsman?

Jack Charters: "As I said before, my parents have always kept me grounded and made it clear you need to have a back-up plan.

"You can play cricket at the latest to 40-45 and, after that, what are you going to do so it's best to have a back-up plan."