Harrogate’s Jonny Tattersall completed a "remarkable" turnaround in his professional cricketing career this week, signing a long-term contract with Yorkshire CCC.
The 24-year-old was released by the White Rose in 2015, but after earning himself a second chance with the club’s 2nd XI a year later, eventually managed to force his way back into the first team picture.
And, having re-invented himself as a wicket-keeper, Tattersall has now established himself as a mainstay of the side, with 2018’s impressive form earning him a new deal.
“When you get released you don’t automatically think ‘I’ll go a way for a couple of years and come straight back’.
“I thought I’d have to look elsewhere and, maybe, if I’d have done well for someone else, maybe Yorkshire would want me back.
“It didn’t pan out like that, but I remember when Martyn Moxon had that meeting with me when I got released and he said to me ‘this isn’t the end of Jonny Tattersall’ and that has been proven by me going away and working hard and the club taking me back.
“They know what I’m like as a character and I didn’t feel let down at all or that any bridges were burnt.
“I enjoy everybody’s company here, there’s lots of really nice people here as well as professionals.
“It just so happened it turned out like this and I’m grateful for it.”
Tattersall, formerly of Harrogate CC, Knaresborough CC and an ex-England under-19s captain, made one first-team appearance for Yorkshire back in 2013, scoring a duck against Glamorgan in a one-day fixture, before being released two years later.
He did however impress after being invited back to play in the 2nd XI at the end of 2016 and likewise last season, earning himself a one-year deal for 2018.
He agreed a provisional one-year extension for 2019 earlier this year having made his First-Class and Championship debut in a pink ball draw at Hampshire, going on to hit fifties against champions Surrey and Nottinghamshire.
And his emergence as a wicket-keeper has now seen him handed a deal that will keep him at Emerald Headingley until the end of 2021.
“It was a surprise to get a call-up with the gloves to be honest," Tattsersall said.
"I was doing it more as something for the future, a long-term thing, but I think I surprised myself with how well I took to it which is great.
"Hopefully I can get some hundreds under my belt next year which is the next goal with me. I want to make a few more significant contributions with the bat too and not just the gloves.”
Tattersall is not the only one left taken aback by how quickly he has adapted to his new role.
“It’s a remarkable story,” Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon said.
“From last winter, when it was suggested about trying to get into the first-team as a wicket-keeper and working hard on it through the winter, I don’t think any of us expected him to have the success he did so quickly.
“It’s a remarkable rise and testament to his hard work and talent.
“He’s a model professional, a student of the game and has a very intelligent cricket brain. Hopefully he’ll go from strength to strength now.”