Ex-Papplewick bowler Mark Footitt on England radar

BEST FOOT FORWARD --  Derbyshire's former Papplewick and Linby bowler Mark Footitt
BEST FOOT FORWARD -- Derbyshire's former Papplewick and Linby bowler Mark Footitt
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A player who learned his trade at Papplewick and Linby Cricket Club is catching the eye of the England selectors.

Mark Footitt (28) grew up as an integral member of Papplewick’s successful youth policy.

Now he has become the first English bowler in the country to reach 50 wickets in the LV-County Championship.

He has been rewarded by a new two-year-contract with his county, Derbyshire.

And before England’s current Test series with India, he was invited to bowl at England’s batsmen in the nets, attracting plenty of compliments from coaches.

Footitt’s raw potential as a fast left-arm bowler was nurtured so well by Papplewick that he went on to join Notts CCC as a 19-year-old in 2005.

He never quite made the grade at Trent Bridge, struggling to match his pace with consistency and control.

However, he has resurrected his professional career since joining Derbyshire four years ago, helping the county win promotion to the top division of the Championship in 2012.

They were immediately relegated last summer, but Footitt returned a career-best tally of 42 wickets in first-class cricket and he has maintained his strike rate this season.

The 6’2” bowler currently has 71 first-class wickets to his name, and signed a deal this week that will keep him at Derbyshire until the end of the 2016 season at least.

Said Graeme Welch, Derbyshire’s performance director: “When he’s on song, Mark adds something different to our attack because he’s left-arm and consistently around the 90mph mark. I am sure there is even more to come from him.”

As for playing for England, Footitt says: “I would love to. I think anyone who plays first-class cricket wants to play for their country.

“Bowling at the England batsmen was good practice for me, and it’s always nice when people are saying good things about you.

“I’m just concentrating on doing well for Dernyshire and taking as many wickets as I can. If anything else comes from that, it will be a bonus.”