Aussie adventure to help cricket career

Callum Jackson in Sydney
Callum Jackson in Sydney

It’s been a meteoric rise for Eastbourne’s brightest cricketing star, Callum Jackson.

Last year he made his first team début for Sussex, represented England at under 19 level and helped his home town club Eastbourne back in to the Sussex Premier League.

Herald Sport caught up with the young wicket-keeper, who is currently in Australia plying his trade with Charlestown District Cricket Club in New South Wales during the winter months.

“2013 was a really good year for me,” Jackson says.

“It started off touring South Africa with England Under 19’s and topping the one day batting averages.

“Then making my first team début in all three formats for Sussex which was an amazing experience. The highlight of the year was making my first class début against Australia at Hove in the summer.”

The 19-year-old was in the Sussex side that played against Australia as part of their Ashes warm up.

He caught opening batsman Phillip Hughes behind and notched up 26 runs with the bat.

“That really was amazing,” Jackson fondly remembers. “Making your first class début is special enough but to do it in front of a packed house everyday and against Australia was incredible.

“I’ve watched all the Australian players on TV and to play against them was slightly surreal.”

Now on his own Aussie adventure, the ambitious Jackson is impressing down under, most recently with a stand of 62 against West CC.

He shows no signs of letting up and the experience oversees will be valuable as he looks to realise his dream of breaking into the full England squad on his return to these shores.

“That is my ultimate goal, to represent my country at a senior level,” he adds.

His immediate concerns, however, lie with pushing for as much first team cricket as possible.

And with Sussex team mate and England wicket-keeper Matt Prior now the wrong side of 30, more opportunities could come his way in 2014.

“That’s definitely my goal right now. I think if I perform like I know I can then I’ll stand a good chance.”

And while he has international aspirations, Jackson is not one to forget his routes and speaks fondly of his hometown club , Eastbourne.

They shrugged off the disappointment of relegation to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and he is delighted that they’ve taken back their rightful place.

“We showed great fight and determination to get promoted and we are back where we belong in the Premier League. With the side that we have.”