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Haggett earns new Kent contract
7:00am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Sport
CALUM Haggett’s cricketing career has been far from plain sailing.
Plagued by injury and health problems in his younger years, the very topic of injury now brings the 22-year-old, who hails from Bridg- water, into a gentle chuckle.
“You’re right there,” said Calum (pictured).
“It’s been nice to get a long stint of cricket under my belt without any setbacks.”
A stress fracture in his back prevented Calum from bowling for a whole year during his late teens, before a routine screening in 2010 identi¬ fied an aortic root dilatation and a leaking heart valve, which saw him withdrawn from the England under-19 World Cup squad.
But Calum is now hopeful that his injury and health problems are far behind him – the all- rounder signed a new contract with Kent County Cricket Club at the end of September after a suc¬ cessful debut season at the county, and things could not be better: “I couldn’t have been happier, the season went really well and I would’ve taken what happened through the season, if you had offered me it at the start.
“I would’ve liked to have got a few better one- day performances in, but I was pleased with my red-ball performances.”
Calum left Somerset at the end of last season after a mutual agreement with the club, and although leaving his home county was difficult, it was a move he felt he had to make if his career was to progress.
A total of 26 Championship wickets together with a batting average of over 40 more than jus¬ tifies his decision: “It was a mutual agreement to leave Somerset – I wasn’t going where I wanted to go so I felt a change was needed. Somerset is my home county and my family still live here, so it was disap¬ pointing to leave, but I had to do it.
“I had a trial at Kent and played a few second- team games for them, and I got the call in January to say that I would be signed in the summer.
“I had a few chances because of injuries in the first team and haven’t looked back since.”
The former Bridgwater and Ashcott and Shapwick player’s season was cut two weeks short by a minor side strain, but Calum insists it wasn’t anything serious, and a more a precau¬ tion.
“It’s been one of the better years with injuries for me. I had a little niggle in my side which saw me miss the last two games, but that was more a case of not making it any worse.”
Calum is due to fly out to Australia’s Sunshine Coast at the end of October for a season of Grade cricket, whilst harbouring ambitions of climbing the Kent batting order next season.
“I definitely have aspirations of becoming an all-rounder who can get in the team as either a batsman or a bowler, rather than just a bowler who can score runs down the order. But to do that I know I’ve got to work hard over the winter and score runs when I get the chance to.”
With another season guaranteed at Canterbury, Calum can hopefully look forward to another 12 months free of setbacks: “Fingers crossed, fingers crossed,” he says.