Teenage run machine Tom not getting carried away after two double centuries
The 13-year-old hit a unbeaten 264 for the district Under 13s against Blackburn at the start of July – going on to make 51 (retired) for Lowerhouse Under 15s the same evening.
And he backed that up with another double century, scoring 209.
He didn’t hang around in either innings, scoring his 264 not out off 127 balls, with 21 fours and 17 sixes, before a 124-ball 209, including 19 fours and 11 maximum hits.
In between times, Tom, who has also played for Lowerhouse seconds this season, after featuring for the fourths and thirds, took an all-bowled hat-trick against Nelson.
Tom, who attends St Gabriel’s Roman Catholic High School in Bury, is also a Lancashire Under 13 player, and travels to Taunton at the weekend for a five-day festival with the county.
West Enders first team skipper Ben Heap is his one-to-one batting coach, but it is coach Nigel Brown who first spotted Tom’s potential, as mum Nicola explained: “Nigel Brown at Lowerhouse trained him at Greenmount, and put him forward for a Lancashire trial, and asked them to do some one training with him.
“At Under 11s he moved to Lowerhouse, and it’s really taken off from there.
“He’s had a load of coaching at Lowerhouse, they’ve been really good with him.
“He needed to be pushed on, so he moved to Lowerhouse. I worked in Burnley, so I knew Chris Bleazard, and Nigel, and Ben was doing his one to one training, and he really liked it there.”
And while the World Cup success of England is hoped to inspire the next generation, Nicola just wants Tom to keep his head down and continue his development without any bold statements: “As long as he enjoys it – but it’s very much feet on the ground, there’s a long way to go in the future, hopefully he can keep developing his batting and his bowling.
“His recent form has been amazing, but we’ll just do what he wants to do, as long as he wants to play, I’ll keep driving him around. His grandma and grandad are putting the miles in.”
Tom, a fan of Lancashire and England star, Joss Buttler, and could also have chosen to have trials with Wigan Athletic. And football helped lead him to cricket: “My mates were going to cricket after football training, so I went along with them at Greenmount.
“I’ve done a bit of both, batting and bowling, but I always enjoyed batting.
“I find it fun, I enjoy it.
“Lowerhouse is a really friendly club and nice to be around.
“The dream is to play as high as I can and see how it goes.”
His innings sparked debate as to whether they were the greatest junior innings ever, and Tom admits he felt he was coming into form: “Towards the end of last season, I got 48 not out for the thirds, and this season it’s just blown up, it’s just clicked.
“Every week we go down on a Sunday and you listen to the coaches and put it into the games, and gradually you get better.
“Ben told me to keep it simple, not over-complicate things. He’s amazing really, he helps with everything.”
Nicola added: “Ben’s very calm, all the coaches there are really good. Frankie (Haasbroek), Joe and Paddy (Martin) as well. They analyse every aspect.
“Lowerhouse have an advanced player programme – they have normal coaching and then an elite programme, part of the Harry Brooks Foundation, and Tom’s doing that. They video them and show them what they are doing, so it’s all about your own analysis and reflection on your game.
“Tom’s worked really hard, he’s had to turn down going out with his friends at weekends, so there is a dedication there as well.”