After an ‘amazing’ experience making his first-class debut, James Poulson is targeting twin success with Sudbury and Suffolk this season.
The Bury St Edmunds-born 19-year-old all-rounder followed in the footsteps of his former Bury and Sudbury team-mates Matt Hunn and Adam Mansfield when making his first-class debut.
The former King Edward VI Upper School pupil, who is in his first year at Oxford Brookes, made his bow against Warwickshire in the drawn match at The Parks last month.
After returning figures of 22-8-81-2, the Sudbury vice-captain, who is doing a degree in sports coaching and physical education combined with education studies and a PGCE in his fourth year, scored 40 at a run-a-ball batting at number nine.
He said: “It really was an amazing experience playing against a Warwickshire side that included the likes of Jonathan Trott, Rikki Clarke (who Poulson dismissed lbw to claim his maiden first-class wicket) and Chris Wright.
“The match was drifting towards a draw by the time I got into bat, but it was good to get some runs — it is the only really good chance I have had to have a good bat so far this season!
“The experience will hopefully improve me as a cricketer after playing against players of that standard and should put me in good stead for Sudbury and Suffolk.”
Poulson has established himself in both Suffolk’s one-day and three-day sides since making his Championship debut against Staffordshire at Knypersley in August 2012.
And Poulson, who missed Sunday’s two-wicket Unicorns KO Trophy loss against Norfolk as he was travelling back to Oxford for an MCCU game starting on Monday, put into perspective the step up between Minor County and first-class cricket.
“When you are bowling the margins for error are so much smaller than when you are playing for your club or in Minor Counties cricket — if you bowl too short or with too much width you get punished,” he said.
“When you are batting all the bowlers are 80 miles per hour plus and are proven first-class players, whereas in the East Anglian Premier League you get one 80 miles per hour plus bowler and the rest are medium pacers.
“It means you don’t get any respite from the bowlers and if you make a mistake you are going to be punished.”
Poulson, who harbours hopes of becoming a fully-fledged first-class cricketer in the future, is now looking to push on this season.
“After making my first-class debut I am looking to have a really good season with Suffolk in the three-day competition and win the league so we go through to the championship play-off final.”
Although the fresher did not feature in the only other first-class match that Oxford MCCU will play this season, against Nottinghamshire, due to the squad rotation, Poulson has played regularly in other MCCU matches.