Brett D’Oliveira has hailed the “huge” influence on his career of new Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp as he looks to make the most of his double opportunity in the Caribbean during the next few weeks.
D’Oliveira was batting in the lower order for Worcestershire Seconds when Sharp came into the role four years ago.
But he quickly promoted D’Oliveira up the order, then into the opening role – and he has not looked back since slotting into the same position with the senior side two and a half years ago.
Now the 26-year-old has the chance to make a big impression in the West Indies – first in the three match North versus South series starting this weekend and then for the MCC against Essex in the traditional Champion County match.
D’Oliveira said: “I’ve got about 10 days for the North v South series and then stay on for the MCC match for another five or six days. I’m absolutely amazed with that.
“It’s great to be out there and it’s an opportunity to get your name up in lights so to speak.
“It’s all about trying to take that opportunity but also trying to enjoy it. I know a few of the lads who are going so it will be nice to catch up with them.”
D’Oliveira was also called up into the England Lions squad two years ago – another indication that his performances have not gone unnoticed.
He spoke glowingly about the impact on his career of Sharp.
He said: “My dad (Damian D’Oliveira) was obviously a massive influence on me and then Kevin came in and he was huge for me.
“He gave me the opportunity to bat higher up the order for the Seconds and allowed me to score some more runs which happened fortunately.
“I’ve got a lot to thank Sharpy for. He’s a good man, very trustworthy and honest and if there is something wrong, he’s always one of the first people I go to.
“He is very good. He is not only good as a coach, with his technical stuff, but just talking mentally with him.
“He is very good at pumping your tyres up but also being very straight with you, saying I think you need to work on this or something else.
“He’s just good all-round and it’s nice to have him at the top (as Head Coach).”