MCC Universities (MCCU) graduate leg-spinner Tom Craddock has signed a two year deal with Essex after impressing on a two-month trial with the county.
Craddock, who finished his three years at Leeds MCCU earlier this summer, has taken 19 first-class wickets at an average of 27.10 since his debut against the Sri Lankans in June.
His contract marks the climax of a meteoric rise for the Huddersfield youngster, who only took up the game in his mid-teens and didn’t make the Leeds MCCU team until his second year.
With a successful stint in the county game behind him though, 22-year-old Craddock is now setting his sights on becoming a regular in the Essex set-up.
Craddock said: “My main focus is to cement my spot across all squads and help the team push for promotion to Division One and win some silverware.
“I have fitted in to the group really well and there is an excellent set of lads at Essex who have made me feel very welcome. It’s a great team and it’s good to now be fully part of it.”
His Coach at Essex, Paul Grayson, described the initial two month trial as a ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ move for Essex.
Craddock has clearly made a significant impression on Grayson though, who is keen to mould the Yorkshireman into a big part of Essex’s future plans.
Grayson said: “He has made a huge impact within the side and now I’m looking forward to working closely with him and developing his skills further as an Essex player.”
Craddock’s development has been aided hugely by MCC since he arrived at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2008.
He worked his way into the Leeds MCCU set-up, impressing significantly to become a regular in the MCC Combined University side in 2010.
MCC also selected him to attend a ten-day coaching clinic at the Global Cricket School in Mumbai in the winter of 2010, as well as a trip to the Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi with the Combined team.
He also made two apperances for the Unicorns side at the start of 2011.