MATTHEW WAITE has hailed the help given to him by Yorkshire’s England players and cited Tim Bresnan as a particular role model as he makes his way in the county’s first team.
Waite is full of praise for such as England Test captain Joe Root and Ashes-winning all-rounder Bresnan for the encouragement that he has received since breaking into the first XI.
Waite, 21, made his first-team debut against Sri Lanka A in 2014 but is now rising to prominence as a promising all-rounder in his own right.
He has played in the last five Royal London Cup games and scored his maiden half-century for the first team on Sunday against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, making 71 and sharing in a sixth-wicket stand of 116 with Bresnan, who struck 65.
“It’s nice to even be in the side with so many internationals and amazing to be around players of that quality,” said Waite.
“The first time I came across them it was a little bit daunting, but now I know them quite well and they’ve been a big help to me.
Tim Bresnan is a role model and has helped me a lot, and if I achieve half of what he’s achieved, I’ll be very happy.Matthew Waite
“Rooty was giving me some tips and stuff in the nets before the Warwickshire game, and it’s great for a young player to have someone like that around to learn from.
“He was wanging the ball down at me for about 20 minutes, which was absolutely brilliant.
“Tim Bresnan is a role model and has helped me a lot, and if I achieve half of what he’s achieved, I’ll be very happy.
“He just helps me batting and bowling and, if I’m getting a bit of tap on the field, he’ll just come over, tell me what to do and calm me down.
“I really enjoyed batting with him (against Warwickshire).
“He just told me to stand still and hit the ball and, just the advice that he can give, and the experience that he’s got, helps a great deal.”
Waite, who was watched by his grandparents at Edgbaston, who live in the Birmingham area, was born in Leeds and came up through the Yorkshire ranks.
He showed that he had something about him last summer when he performed well in two televised limited-overs matches that revealed he has the right temperament as well as the requisite talent.
In the T20 Blast quarter-final against Glamorgan in Cardiff, Waite scored a useful, unbeaten 19 and then took the important wicket of South African batsman Colin Ingram.
In the Royal London Cup semi-final against Surrey at Headingley, he was Yorkshire’s most successful bowler with 3-48 and also made their second-highest score of 38, sharing in another sixth-wicket stand with Bresnan – this time worth 80 – that kept Yorkshire in the hunt.
Waite has continued that form into this season, starting well for the second team and then playing an important part in Yorkshire’s qualification for the Royal London One-Day Cup knockout stages.
He took a career-best 4-65 in the game at Worcester and achieved his previous best with the bat of 43 in the match at Northampton last Wednesday.
Waite’s maiden fifty will give him even more confidence, as will the fact that he removed former England batsmen Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell when Warwickshire batted en route to their five-wicket win.
Now he is aiming to help Yorkshire bypass the need for a Royal London Cup quarter-final by going straight into the semi-finals, which would happen should they win their final group game against Leicestershire at Headingley today and should Worcestershire lose at Derbyshire today, which would see Yorkshire finish top of the North Group.
“We’ve done really well in the competition and hopefully we can beat Leicestershire now and get a home semi-final,” said Waite.
“I’m happy with how it’s going on a personal level, and it was nice to get my first fifty for Yorkshire.
“I’ve just got to keep learning every game and trying to get better, and hopefully I can keep performing.
“Each game, I’m getting more confident and believing that I can do it at this level, but I know I must keep working hard.”
Yorkshire are without their England players for today’s match as attention now shifts towards the Champions Trophy.
Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey are unavailable as England build up to the tournament that starts on June 1.
As such, Yorkshire’s squad shows five changes for today’s game (2pm start), with Alex Lees, Karl Carver, Steve Patterson, Will Rhodes and Jonny Tattersall returning.
Yorkshire squad versus Leicestershire: Ballance (captain), Bresnan, Carver, Coad, Fisher, Handscomb, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Rafiq, Rhodes, Tattersall, Waite.