Essex CCC sign talented teenage prospect and former Royston all-rounder Nikhil Gorantla – whose acclaimed style evokes echoes of sublime VVS Laxman

PUBLISHED: 14:14 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 09 October 2018

Nikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCC

Nikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCC

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A former Royston Cricket Club colt has been snapped up by County Championship county Essex.

Nikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCCNikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCC

Precocious 15-year-old Nikhil Gorantla has signed for the 2017 champions after impressing for Cambridgeshire CC.

The talented all-rounder first picked up a bat as a seven-year-old for Royston, soon progressing to play hard ball cricket for their U11 side.

Nikhil told Crow Sport: “It’s the proudest moment in my life. I’m delighted to have signed for Essex.”

The talented teen had been at the Northants Centre of Excellence but Nikhil signed on the dotted line for Essex after impressing at Fenners this summer, with a fluent half-century against Suffolk in late August sealing the deal.

Nikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCCNikhil Gorantla from Royston has signed for Essex CCC

The right-handed batter and bowler admires former England all-rounder Freddie Flintoff while expressing admiration for Essex’s Alistair Cook.

His father Vijay added: “His batting in terms of his cover drives and flicks reminds me of VVS Laxman.

“His favourite player is Virat Kohli while he also likes Joe Root.

“I hope my son can be an inspiration for youngsters in and around Royston to take up cricket and join the club.”

It is hoped Nikhil will be competing for a place in Essex’s U17 side next summer with a view to challenging for a spot in the second team if he progresses as well as many seasoned observers hope he will.

If the promising Nikhil can achieve even a fraction of what the Hyderbad-born sublime top-order batsman VVS Laxman showed during his career then he will be doing well.

Laxman was a wonderfully wristy player. His elegant strokeplay saw him strong on the off-side, but was a talent who had the rare gift of being able to hit the ball either side of the wicket.

The one-time medical student tormented Steve Waugh’s previously invincible Australia side in March 2001 with a stunning 281 to turn the Kolkata Test around in remarkable fashion.

For more information on Royston Cricket Club visit their website.

Read Crow Sport as we chart Nikhil’s progress over the winter and next summer.

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