Author: Dafydd Jones
Talented Glamorgan all-rounder Dan Douthwaite is relishing the prospect of facing the very best ahead of the new campaign.
The new County Championship structure for this year will see Glamorgan compete with Yorkshire, Kent, Northants, Lancashire and Sussex, four of which are Division One sides.
Glamorgan begin their campaign on 8 April with a trip to face Yorkshire in the two counties’ first meeting in four-day cricket for a decade.
Despite a huge test ahead, Douthwaite insists that the club are well-equipped for the challenge.
“Preparations have been really good so far,” he said. “The winter has gone really quick for a lot of us and we’re all looking forward to getting outside.
“After the winter we’ve had, it’s been really full-on, post-Christmas. I’m very confident and feeling optimistic about this season, hopefully with the squad that we’ve got at the moment, we can go out there and do something special.
“There’s a few sides in there that a few of us are yet to come across, but I think it will be a great challenge, especially some of those bigger clubs like Yorkshire and Lancashire.
“We can’t wait to get going and win some games of cricket for the club over this summer in all formats.”
Douthwaite joined Glamorgan in 2019 having impressed playing for Cardiff MCCU.
The 24 year-old recorded a maiden first-class century against Sussex, before scoring 95 against Glamorgan the following week, going onto to sign for the South Wales club.
The right-arm bowler expressed just how much he has valued his time with the club thus far.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “Glamorgan is a club that i’ve grown very fond of over the past two years and I’ve been lucky enough to call Glamorgan my home away from home.
“I think the way I’ve been accepted into the club and involved by the staff and the players has exceeded any expectation I had going into it at the start.”
Making an early impression at Sophia Gardens, Douthwaite rose into the spotlight with a terrific Man of the Match performance against Sussex in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The all-rounder took 2/46 before hitting an unbeaten half-century, as the Welsh county recorded their best ever run chase in the format.
Douthwaite expressed that he looks back at such a brilliant performance and a historic Glamorgan win with fond memories.
“It was an amazing experience to have that game and the way it panned out so early on in my career, I think it was only my third game for the club.
“The game itself was full of peaks and troughs for us, one minute it was Sussex, the next minute it was us and that went on all day, right down to the wire, in the last few overs when we were eight down in a record run-chase.
“That was made all the better for me, because it was on TV and I was lucky enough to be awarded the Man of the Match award so looking back on it, that was definitely the highlight of my career so far.”
Douthwaite impressed to such an extent during his early time at Glamorgan that he was acknowledged for his performances in the end-of-season awards.
The Kingston upon Thames-born fast-bowler was named Glamorgan’s Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2019 campaign.
The all-rounder expressed that receiving the award is a memory that he holds in very high regard.
“They mean a lot,” he insisted. “I was lucky enough to get that award in my first season and that meant a lot to me after being someone, at the start of that summer, who was kind of umming and arring about playing professional cricket in the first place.
“Being awarded that contract was more than enough for me, achieving that almost at times an unrealistic childhood dream of mine.
“I guess the icing on the cake for me was definitely being awarded that Young Player of the Year award, that was just a great end to the summer for me, it’s something I’m very proud of and something I still look back on with very fond memories.”
At 24 years of age, Douthwaite’s best years in the game are certainly ahead of him.
The all-rounder is one of many talents coming through the ranks at Sophia Gardens, with the likes of Prem Sisodiya, Roman Walker and Callum Taylor all making an impression.
Douthwaite expressed he is grateful to the club for the opportunity of first-team cricket and feels that there is more to come from Glamorgan’s exciting prospects ahead of the new season.
“There’s lots of young players in and around the squad at the moment, which stands us in good stead for the future.
“What I think is great about the club is that there’s a lot of young players being exposed to first-team cricket, including myself, which is going to speed up our personal development and the strength of the side over the next few years.
“It’s really exciting times for the club and if we can this group of young players and develop as we are, we’ll turn into a very powerful side over the next few years.
“I just want to play regular first-team cricket and win some games for the club and I want to be one of those dependable players that people can turn to.
“If I can achieve that, then I’m sure any further cricketing aspirations that I have will look after themselves.”
(Featured Image: Glamorgan Cricket Club)