ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC)’s hopes of convincing batsman Eddie Byrom, to play for the country of his birth instead of England appear to slipping away following his recent comments.
The Somerset batsman revealed his ambition to play for England after making an eye-catching century against Essex in the Bob Willis Trophy final last week.
Byrom, 23, moved to England in 2015 and has played for Somerset for the past four years.
He has been a low-key performer for much of that time, but his knock of 117 across more than five hours and two rain-affected days of this season decider is the kind of innings that can act as a springboard to young careers.
Against a high-class attack that is used to rolling over opposition sides in a hurry, he lasted for 217 balls, hit 16 boundaries and was unusually comfortable against the prolific spinner Simon Harmer.
Without his efforts, Somerset’s final total of 301 would have looked a lot more vulnerable.
ZC have approached Byrom with a hope of convincing him to play for the Chevrons but the left-hander is now on the way to being granted British citizenship.
“I’ve certainly committed to playing for Somerset and want to play for England. That’s my ambition,” Byrom said.
“I moved over from Zimbabwe when I was 16, got on to the Somerset Academy and progressed from there. Zimbabwe is a bit of a mess right now — it’s not really a temptation, no.”
England remains a long shot as it stands, with a first-class average of under 27, but he does not hide from his past failures and wants to start again after proving his credentials on the biggest stage available to first-class cricketers this summer.
“It’s certainly the most important innings I’ve played, it’s such a big game. It’s made me and my family very proud to do this,” he said.
“I’ve been quite disappointed in the results I’ve been able to give the team in recent years. Year on year I’ve been given responsibilities and I haven’t lived up to that. It has been frustrating because I know I’m better than what I’ve produced. Hopefully this hundred can spur me on to more.
“I’m definitely an over-thinker when things aren’t going my way or I’m not hitting balls as I’d like. I’m always looking for the thing that will get me back in form. I tinkered with a couple of things before this game too…I’m always looking for that magical formula I guess.”