Morne Morkel broke off from Surrey’s Specsavers County Championship title celebrations to give a ringing endorsement of the potential of Worcestershire paceman Dillon Pennington.
The South African paceman was “blown away” by Morkel’s performance in the title-clinching match at Blackfinch New Road.
Pennington certainly caused a few nerves in the Surrey dressing room with his fiery bowling on the final day before they secured a three wicket success.
Morkel’s comments followed on from the praise heaped on Pennington in similar fashion by New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson after his fine bowling in the recent game against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Pennington is still only 19 and his main ambition at the start of the season was to play regular second team cricket.
But the Academy product, part of England Under-19’s World Cup squad in the winter, has seized his chance after injuries to skipper Joe Leach and Josh Tongue opened the first team door.
Now he will turn his attention to bottom placed Worcestershire’s bid to pull off the Great Escape in the Championship – starting with tomorrow’s match with Essex at Chelmsford.
Morkel said: “It’s the first time I’ve seen or heard about him. I was sitting on the balcony and asked Vikram Solanki about him and he told me Dillon was only 19 years old.
“I was blown away by him. He’s got a lot of potential and has a really bright future and in time he will pick up experience and all those sort of things.
“He just needs to play cricket now and learn the skills of four-day cricket, the amount of overs, the work-load, those sort of things.
“I think he has got a really bright future ahead of him.”
Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp said: “He is a big strong lad. He’s bowled two or three unbelievable spells.
“I look back at Scarborough, the way he bowled at Kane Williamson was like watching Test cricket for me.
“We all said that and he looked like getting him out all the time – one of the top players in the world.
“Then against Surrey on the final day, you think ‘wow, this is a lad who has really got a really bright future.’
“He is going to be inconsistent as well. He is only young. Consistency often comes with experience so we can’t expect that everytime he goes out and bowls.
He won’t get it right at times so we have to patient with that. But he is a handful. I’m glad I’m not batting against him!
“He is a big strong boy, a fit lad, and it is great to see. We are blessed with some of our bowling talent.”