Kevin Sharp is delighted to see Jake Libby link up with Worcestershire after having had first hand experience of his batting skills from his time as the County’s Second Eleven Coach.
Sharp saw Libby show excellent powers of concentration for Nottinghamshire in defying Worcestershire’s last day push for victory in a Second Eleven Championship match at the Sports Club, Nottingham during the 2017 season.
He batted all day and hit an unbeaten 170 which so impressed Sharp that he sought Libby out before the following day’s T20 match between the two counties to congratulate him.
Sharp was able to bring the memory of that knock – plus a century against Worcestershire in a County Championship match at Trent Bridge in 2018 when Head Coach – to the table when the Cricket Steering Group discussed the possibility of signing Libby.
The former England Under-19 captain said: “It was real proper red ball batting. Jake showed a good technique, concentration, patience, just a great all-round package for red ball cricket.
“I can remember watching him bat that day and we had quite a reasonably experienced attack out from what I can remember.
“I remember thinking ‘this bloke is going to bat all day, we are not going to get him out’ the way he is shaping up.
“I was that impressed so the following morning I went out of my way to ask their coach to introduce me to him and I just wanted to congratulate Jake on his innings and say to him that it was high class of the highest standard.
“I remember thinking this lad would be an excellent cricketer in anybody’s team.”
Sharp added: “When Jake came on the radar, we had our discussions through our Cricket Steering Group about Jake and my input was about what I’d seen of him.
“On top of that in 2018 in the Championship game at Trent Bridge, when I was Head Coach, he made another hundred there and you just think ‘this is excellent red ball batting.’
“I’ve seen him play one or two white ball games as well and quite clearly he is developing his all-round game and is very selectable in white ball cricket as well now.
“I’ve done a bit of work with him at Malvern College. We’ve started a bit earlier with the practice and I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time chatting with Jake and he is a very, mature, likeable sort of lad.
“I think he will be a very good team man and will add great strength to our top order.”