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Model student Craddock impresses against England

Model student Craddock impresses against England

Leeds/Bradford MCCU graduate Tom Craddock thrust his name into the limelight after taking five wickets for Essex against England in their Investec Ashes series warm up match.

Leg-spinner Craddock dismissed the trio of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Matt Prior - owners of 46 Test centuries combined - on a first day he described as the best of his career.

He followed that up with the scalps of Graeme Swann on 94 and Steven Finn the very next ball on day two to finish with 5/69.

It was the 22-year-old's second first-class five-wicket haul, and comfortably his best performance of 2013, finding significant turn on a dry pitch.

Speaking to ECB TV at the conclusion of the first day, the Yorkshireman said: "It's a bit surreal, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell stood there, I thought if I could join a few dots then I'd be happy."

Huddersfield-born Craddock's cricket career has taken a vastly different path to the majority of professionals.

He didn't take up cricket until his mid teens, and his game developed significantly during his three years at Leeds/Bradford, under the tutelage of Andrew Lawson.

Craddock was spotted by Essex Coach Paul Grayson while playing against the county and joined the club on trial in 2011, before signing a two-year contract later that summer.

While first-team opportunities have been limited, Craddock has continued to make strides and is highly rated in the Essex camp - one of a number of highly talented crop of youngsters which also includes Tymal Mills and Ben Foakes.

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