01 August 2022

Robin Das eager to grab any Essex chances during Royal London Cup campaign

01 August 2022

Essex youngster Robin Das got to sample life as an international cricketer in June and hopes a successful Royal London Cup campaign can help him take another step on the journey to his long-term goal.

The 20-year-old was on 12th man duties during England’s opening Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Das’ substitute fielder appearance did not just cause a stir in his home county of Essex but also back in Bangladesh given his father Mridul comes from the Sunamganj District and it has given him a taste for more.

He told the PA news agency: “Oh of course, definitely. I am sure if you ask every professional cricketer whether they would like to represent England, they would all say they would love to.

“But I would say getting that little taste of it, being around the lads and seeing how they go about things, their day-to-day life in the middle of a Test match, does make me aspire to it that extra bit more.

“Not that you are ever short of motivation but it is definitely an additional to it!”

Alongside Das at Lord’s was fellow Essex staffer Nikhil Gorantla and both were on together at the same time after Matthew Potts went off with an injury during the middle of an over on day one but it was the second day – when Harry Brook and Craig Overton were in Vitality Blast action – that saw the British Bangladeshi used regularly.

The right-handed batter got to rub shoulders with the likes of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root across his week in the capital and admitted witnessing the latter’s match-winning century in the fourth innings left a big impression.

Das added: “Preparation-wise that was big, to see how they go about it before a Test match because we were there for the practice the day before, then the day of how they prepare in the morning.

I would say getting that little taste of it, being around the lads and seeing how they go about things, their day-to-day life in the middle of a Test match, does make me aspire to it that extra bit more.

“Also when we were running out drinks and gloves to Root when he was in the middle of that unbeaten hundred in the fourth innings chase, to see how calm he is was really good.”

The Leytonstone-born player received a flurry of messages following his outing in Test whites after he created a slice of history.

His appearance at Lord’s made him one of a limited number of British cricketers of Bangladesh descent to represent England and saw him follow in the footsteps of ex-Essex bowler Jahid Ahmed, who did 12th-man duties in 2008 against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

“The family are always proud but it definitely did take some people from extended family by surprise. When they did see it, they were quick to message and call,” Das explained during South Asian Heritage Month.

“I have been there in the past. I have a good connection with the Bangladeshi community in London as well and I know a lot of the players who play at club level around here.

“The Bangladeshi community love cricket and I do get a lot of support from them and messages. It means a lot. You know every time you play you have more than just your friends and family supporting you.”

While talk of a decision to be made over his international allegiances is premature, Das is hopeful a strong end to 2022 can aid his development.

A regular fixture in the Essex second-team, he played twice in the Vitality Blast last month and showed no fear at the top in an entertaining cameo of 23 in a club-record Twenty20 total of 254 for five for Essex against Glamorgan.

Dan Lawrence and Adam Rossington were responsible for some of the damage that day but with the pair set to play in The Hundred and other vacancies in the top order, Das is hopeful he will get a chance in the Royal London Cup – a competition that runs alongside the franchise tournament.

“I have played loads of 50-over growing up, either club cricket for Wanstead or county age group, so it will be nice to play it for Essex if I do get a go,” he said.

“It is a good competition for younger players making their way in the first-team game to show they can play at first-team level.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox