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Stuart MacGill backs Derbyshire leggie Matt Critchley to play for England

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has backed Derbyshire all-rounder Matt Critchley to play international cricket.

The 23-year-old’s career numbers aren’t compelling, with a first-class bowling average of 49.55, batting average of 28.05, and just one five-wicket haul to his name, but MacGill, who claimed 208 wickets in 44 Tests for Australia, and has worked with Critchley in a coaching capacity, thinks the youngster has what it takes to make it to the top.

“My guy that I really love at the moment is Matt Critchley,” he told Cricket Life Stories. “He’s at Derby. I think he’s made three first-class hundreds already. This dude, six foot two, he can bowl. I can see him slotting into an international side because of what he can do with a bat in his hands and the ball. He’s a very very solid player.”

MacGill has worked with several promising young English leg-spinners, with Mason Crane, Matt Parkinson, and Josh Poysden also having headed to New South Wales in recent years to spend time under his tutelage, with the Australian picking out the former and the latter for special praise.

“Mason Crane was the first overseas player to play for New South Wales since 1983, Imran Khan. If Maso never plays another Test match, he’s still the first international player since 1983 to play for New South Wales. That’s a huge achievement. What it meant to me to put the blue cap on… Huge achievement. I think he got 70 wickets in all forms for his grade club Gordon in that year. Amazing.

“Josh Poysden, one of the great blokes, and I’ve got to say, I believe he will be one of the great spin bowling coaches in the UK ultimately. His career is not finished yet, but he’s going to be a great coach.”

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