Friday, June 10th, 2022


Worcestershire pace bowler, Charlie Morris, has revealed his pride at completing a decade of first-class cricket.

But the 29-year-old is determined to “keep on improving” and helping Worcestershire to further success during the next few years.

Morris made his debut in 2012 for Oxford UCCE versus Glamorgan in The Parks and admits a sleepless night and nerves contributed to a challenging performance.

But an improved showing in his next appearance against Worcestershire led to him being offered a trial at New Road by the then Director Of Cricket, Steve Rhodes.

He impressed sufficiently to be offered a contract for 2013 and played T20 and Pro40 cricket that summer.

But it was current Assistant Coach Alan Richardson’s retirement the following winter that opened the door in the Championship side for Morris after a successful pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi. 

Himself, Jack Shantry and Joe Leach formed the main body of the attack as Worcestershire sealed promoted to Division One.

Morris picked up 56 first class wickets in 2014 and 50 in 2015 before the testing challenges of having to remodel his action but he bounced back successfully with 44 wickets in 2019.

This season he is joint second highest wicket-taker with 14 victims at 27.57 from five games to lift his overall wicket tally to 230 from 74 games at an average of 29.50.

Morris, who missed the home game against Durham through illness, said: “I am really proud to get to 10 years since my first class debut because it could have easily have been a lot shorter career.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a 10 year career to date so far. I don’t know what you expect when you start your career, how it is necessarily going to pan out.

“But if you had told me 10 years ago that I would still be in cricket in 10 years time, and played as much as I have, then I wouldn’t have believed it so I am really happy.

“I’d like to keep going for as long as I can and keep having success, and certainly not resting on the fact I’ve had 10 years in the game.

“I’d like to keep improving and putting in performances for as long as I can.”

Morris is hoping that some of his best years still lie ahead.

He said: “Absolutely that is the case. I’m 30 in July, a milestone in life to reach, but in terms of cricket I’ve got some experience under my belt now and that does help.

“It kind of changes your mindset and the main thing about experience is when you start your career, you don’t have much to go against in terms of experience and a lot of performances behind you.

“You can sometimes be a little bit anxious and concerned and not have the confidence behind you to back your ability.

“You’ve got to build up experience, and build up performances behind you, in order to gain that trust. It helps you deal with the bad days more easily because you’ve had good days as well and success over a period of time.

“It helps you relax, trust your game and keeps things in perspective and helps you to relax and enjoy your cricket.”

It was Glamorgan’s Stewart Walters, caught and bowled, who gave Morris his opening first class victim.

He said: “I bowled pretty averagely that day. I had been up all night worrying about making my first class debut, a milestone I couldn’t believe I was about to achieve. I slept so poorly and was anxious and that ultimately affected my performance.

“But what was great was the game after versus Worcestershire. I had got the nerves out of my system, bowled really well and got offered a trial by Steve Rhodes and managed to get a contract.

“I played some white ball cricket in 2013 but that winter Alan Richardson retired and that opened up a slot to go on tour to Abu Dhabi. It was a great opportunity and I took it with both hands.

“I performed reasonably well, got picked for the first Championship game and kicked on from there.

“That was a great first summer with myself, Jack Shantry and Joe (Leach) as the three main seam bowlers. I have fond memories looking back.”

Morris says having to remodel his action has helped him to become a more skilful bowler.

He said: “I learnt so much about myself going through that period and am really proud of that. If you look at my wickets from 2019 to 2021 through to now, I can say I’ve had more success then than at the start of my career. 

“I’ve become a different and more skilful bowler in terms of my ability to swing the ball and having to find a different way to take wickets with less pace. 

“I never thought I would take over 200 wickets in first class cricket, again proud to have achieved that and I’m hoping I can bring that average down some more by performing well over the next few years”. 

“I just hope if I keep working hard, I can continue to do well for the club by taking wickets to help Worcestershire achieve the success we are all after.

“I’ve always found it hard to set personal milestones because you just don’t know what is going to happen over the course of a season. 

“I could say ‘I want to take 50 wickets this year’ but it depends on how many games you play, the conditions you play in, a few external factors can affect your ability to achieve milestones like that.

“I just want to help Worcestershire win games of cricket. If I do that, the other kind of milestones will look after themselves and I can then look back really proudly on them.

“You don’t necessarily remember all the wickets you take, but more so the games of cricket you’ve won as a group and sitting in changing room afterwards with your mates having worked so hard to get that win.”