TOM Westley is the man of the moment.
Singled out for praise by his club captain, one-day captain and coach, the 25-year-old is enjoying the season of his life, having burst onto the t20 scene this year.
Westley has featured in 13 of Essex Eagles’ 14 matches, having only made nine appearances in the previous four years for his county.
But he has taken the format by storm, scoring two centuries and currently sits third in the run charts in this year’s competition, having clocked up 525 runs so far.
And the unassuming right-hander is enjoying his time at number three in the batting order, but says he is not thinking about an England call-up.
“It has been a real breakthrough year for me in this competition,” said Westley. “I have never been involved much in the past but this time around I have managed to slog a couple of hundreds which is pleasing.
“However, it is much more satisfying when you are contributing towards a team win.
“I have been on the outside looking in for a while but I have taken my chance and it has produced results.
“Naturally, my ultimate goal would be to play for my country but I think I am a long way away from that. I just want to focus on my game and we will see what comes after a bit further down the line.”
Westley says he has worked on his game a lot and has been keeping a close eye on one of his teammates – Kiwi Jesse Ryder.
“I am always striving to be better, and I would have liked to score some more county championship runs, and I hope to continue doing well in the shorter forms of the game in the one-day cup.”
“I have worked on a number of shots to improve my game. I have watched Jesse Ryder’s shot over square leg and that is one I am improving.”
With the quarter-final against the Birmingham Bears looming, Westley knows that, come the end of the season, he wants the t20 trophy glittering in the Eagles trophy cabinet and a winner’s medal to his name.
“I would really love to win something. Whether it is in the t20 or one of the other formats, it would be great to get our hands on a trophy.
“We have a home-quarter final which is what every side is aiming for when the t20 season gets underway and we have managed to do that. Now we have to make those results count in front of a home crowd who will be expecting a good performance.
“This club is moving in the right direction. We need to focus on our strengths and address our weaknesses. We can only concentrate on ourselves.”