Pat Brown’s Road to International Cricket
Having emerged as a relative unknown back in 2018, Pat Brown has developed into one of the hottest bowling prospects in English cricket, especially shining in the most electrifying format of the game, Twenty20. At 22 years of age, an extremely bright future awaits Pat, with his level-headed approach already indicating experience beyond his years. Blend Group caught up with the Worcestershire and England seamer to gain some insight into how he got to where he is today, the hurdles he’s had to overcome and what success really means to him.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a pro cricketer
My journey was a strange one in comparison to most, I grew up in a part of the country where there wasn’t a first class county within an hours drive away; and for that reason there was no clear route into professional cricket. I got in touch with Ross Dewar who is now my S&C at Worcestershire, purely looking for some extra help in striving to reach my potential, it was never with a view to get into professional cricket; I assumed that I’d already missed the boat given the standard of first class county age group sides I had previously played, and ultimately because of this I simply didn’t think I was anywhere near good enough anyway. I ended up going to a trial day run by Dewsy, purely to see how quickly I could bowl, off the back of that day I received invites to trial with 6 first class counties which opened up a complete new world for me. Straight away I knew that Worcestershire was the place for me, and it was an added bonus that Dewsy worked for them and he is my coach to this day and somebody I respect immensely. Following the academy I received an offer to complete a university degree at Worcester on a scholarship through the cricket club, I gladly accepted and mid-way through my degree I signed my first professional contract and started my professional career whilst finishing off the last 2 years of my degree.
What have been your career highlights to date?
My career highlight to date would take me back to Christchurch in New Zealand, where I was handed my England cap to debut in a T20 series over there. It was an incredible feeling for me to know that my hard work had been recognised at the highest level. Eoin Morgan had a chat with me following the game and what he said really resonated with me, he told me that my debut wasn’t about me at all, it was for every person along the journey who helped me to get there, coaches, friends, and most importantly family. The sacrifices made by my parents in not only supporting my cricket before I got to Worcester, but especially the sacrifices they made in taking me to training there 2/3 times a week on a 5 hour round trip, all of the journeys on that day had become completely worth it. That conversation really left a mark on me and is a part of the reason for it being my career highlight.
What have been the hardest lessons learnt?
My hardest lessons have probably been dealing with injury which has become a really tough part of my career, a second lumbar stress fracture which ruled me out of an overseas stint with the Melbourne Stars as well as a tour to South Africa with England which would have been my second tour. It has been a tough few years from that point of view and I am hoping to come out the other side of that soon!
What does success look like for you and how do you measure it?
Success is a tough thing to define as it’s different for everyone and it is extremely hard to measure at times, for me success is all about outcome on the field which makes us pretty measurable. But there are so many times that you bowl well and don’t get the success you probably deserve, and it’s on these days that it is important to realise that on field success is not the only indicator of performance. Regardless of success in the game I reflect after every game and ask how well I feel I bowled and use that to measure my performance more than just looking at the outcomes.
What qualities make a successful cricket player?
I would say to be a successful cricketer you have to be extremely hungry for success and internally focused on improvement. Sport is constantly evolving and cricket is no different, if you wish to be successful you have to be adapting your game and developing new skills all the time or you will be left behind when everyone else does. It’s an extremely competitive environment and a strange one in that often some of your best friends are the people that you are competing against the most, for a place in the team. Cricket can be a tough game as it’s a team sport played by individuals, so there really is nowhere to hide with your performance even if the team wins. You constantly feel in the spotlight and under public scrutiny, so it is important to have a firm belief in your ability and to be mentally strong in not letting people’s opinion on you distract from your journey. A phrase I often tell myself when I feel like I’m under pressure from fans etc. is that I wouldn’t take advice from these people, so the criticism shouldn’t be given too much thought in my head.
What does the rest of 2021 hold for you?
2021 to me is a great opportunity to get my body in a good place and to perform well in the T20 blast for Worcester and for Birmingham Phoenix in the new hundred ball competition. Ultimately I want to get back to my best and if I can do that I’ll be happy regardless of what happens on the scorecards.