Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Oliver Returns To Scene Of Where Dreams First Became Reality

Oliver Returns To Scene Of Where Dreams First Became Reality

Worcestershire Rapids batsman Richard Oliver returns to the scene of where his dream first became a reality in tomorrow evening's NatWest T20 Blast away clash with Durham Jets at the Emirates ICG (7pm start).

It was just over 12 months ago that Oliver made his Worcestershire debut in the corresponding T20 Blast fixture while on trial after impressing in the second eleven.

He scored 43, then followed it up with 34 the following evening against Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford and the left hander was on his way to securing a first professional contract until the end of this season.

Oliver said: "It was unbelievable suddenly playing all these top players. It was probably more unbelievable for all my family and friends because they always thought the dream of playing professional cricket for me was just a dream.

"They thought that I was going to Australia and having a jolly for six years without having any end goal to it.

"Even coming back and playing club cricket and Minor Counties, people were probably looking at me and thinking 'he's a good player but not good enough.'

"I never thought of myself like that. I had my doubts at times that I never got the chance so obviously I wasn't playing well enough otherwise I would have been given a chance.

"So when the time came that I was playing really well, and the opportunity came along, it was just something that I had always strived to achieve so coming along and playing that first game, I've got some fond memories of that first weekend.

"Then to have contributed gave me a lot of confidence and it was enjoyable – apart from the result."

Oliver came up against two of his cricketing heroes during that initial double header.

He said: "I really enjoyed and relished the challenge of playing against some of the players we played against.

"I couldn't believe within the space of two months I was playing for Geelong, club cricket and Minor Counties and by the end of May I was playing against Paul Collingwood on Friday night and James Anderson on Saturday night, two people I've grown up with as my heroes.

"That whole 2005 era of the Ashes were really my role models growing up so it was quite special to play against them."