Prior inspires Jackson to push for first team

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Eastbourne, Sussex and England under-19 cricket ace Callum Jackson hopes to follow in the footsteps of county team-mate Matt Prior.

Jackson was awarded a junior professional contract at Sussex in March following successful graduation through the club’s academy set up since the age of 11.

Despite not having made his first team debut, he has however featured in two non-first-class matches against Leeds and Bradford MCCU last summer.

The batsman and wicketkeeper idolises his Sussex counterpart Prior and wants to replicate the experienced England international.

He said, “I would love to play like he does. He’s an aggressive top order batsman and also a world class wicket keeper. At Sussex I chat to him.

“It’s inspirational just being around professionals at Sussex as it makes you act more professional and gives me a taste of what can be achieved.

“It was really good for my development to be at Sussex since I was 11 as Sussex is a great environment to be in from such a young age.”

In January, Jackson starred for England under-19 in South Africa batting in the top order during three ODIs and three other matches.

The 18-year-old hails the 18,000 mile round trip as a success but feels constantly switching teams is the hardest.

He said, “It was amazing, it was the best cricket experience I’ve had. Playing in another country in different conditions it widens your game.

“Switching between Sussex, England and Eastbourne is the difficult part of it all but I’ve got better at it over the years. I’m taking each game as it comes and not living in the past.”

Jackson will remain at the Saffrons for the season to help their promotion push and he is committed to earning a new contract at Sussex.

He said, “I really enjoy playing for Eastbourne, specially at the Saffrons. I have loads of mates there and its a family club that’s why I’ve stayed here even though we got relegated. I want to help us get back up and get into the

Premier League where we belong.

“In September I want to get a full-time professional contract with Sussex and also I want to remain in the England team to play in the under-19 World Cup next January.

“I’m going to play for Eastbourne on Saturdays then play for Sussex 2nd XI in the week.

“Hopefully I’ll get a chance in the first team”.