Enjoyment is key for Yorkshire new boy Harry Brook as he looks to follow Joe Root example

Newly-contracted Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook has said that he feels no pressure to become '˜the next Joe Root' following his signing as a junior professional last week.

Sunday, 18th June 2017, 6:52 pm
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 4:27 pm
One for the future: Batsman Harry Brook, pictured with Dickie Bird, has impressed with the Seconds and is with the Yorkshire squad for tomorrows Championship match at Lords. (Picture: Yorkshire CCC)

Brook has been named in a County Championship squad for the first time for Yorkshire’s game against Middlesex at Lord’s tomorrow.

The 18-year-old batsman has been rewarded following some impressive performances in the second team.

Comparisons have been made between the batting style of Brook and England Test captain Root, and there is a buzz of excitement around the 18-year-old, whose match-winning knock of 112 from 103 balls won the Second XI Trophy final against Middlesex just days after his contract was signed.

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Harry Brook of Ilkley Grammar School playing in the Yorkshire Post Schools Cricket Challenge final at Headingley in 2013.

Keighley-born Brook followed that up with 161 against Lancashire Seconds at Scarborough.

Despite all that, he says he is yet to feel the weight of expectation.

“I don’t feel any huge pressure, to be honest,” he said. “People who know me know that I’m pretty laid back and that I’m all about just going out to enjoy my cricket. It’s got me this far, and I don’t really see any reason to change that approach.”

Brook toured India with England Under-19s this winter and has first team exposure already, making his first-class and List A debuts against Pakistan A and South Africa A, respectively, but neither were dream starts.

Harry Brook of Ilkley Grammar School playing in the Yorkshire Post Schools Cricket Challenge final at Headingley in 2013.

Brook fell for a first-ball duck against Pakistan and was next man in against the South Africans when rain intervened both times.

“It all depends entirely on performance and form, of course, but I feel like I’m in good form and that I’m ready for my next chance, whenever it comes,” he continued.

“You’ve always got to be expecting to step up so that you’re ready when you are doing well. I’ve got a few runs under my belt recently and I do feel confident.”

One man who has been instrumental in Brook’s development is Yorkshire’s director of development Ian Dews, who is hugely excited by his potential.

“He’s a very, very exciting prospect. He’s not shy of hitting the ball and has made some big scores,” said Dews of a player who first hit the headlines by making a century as Ilkley Grammar won the Yorkshire Post-sponsored Under-13 Schools Cricket competition at Headingley in 2012.

“He has really benefited from his trip to India with the England Under-19s and seems to be going from strength to strength.”

Dews is particularly excited by Brook’s form for Yorkshire Academy, where he has scored 362 runs at an average of 72.4 already this season, including 178 against Woodhouse Grange.

“Our hope is that we can keep hold of him. We haven’t seen as much of him as we’d have liked with school cricket, but when he has come back he’s made hundreds in the league and hundreds for the second team and that’s something that we need – batsmen who make hundreds.”