Joey Evison made his debut for Nottinghamshire as the curtain was coming down on the 2019 season at just 17 years of age. It would be easy for such a young all-rounder to feel overwhelmed in the spotlight of first-class cricket, however, Joey hit an assured 45 on his debut against Warwickshire to introduce himself to the public.
What followed was a transformative few months with Evison going on to sign his first professional contract, before representing the England U19's at the Cricket World Cup. He had an up and down tournament but managed to finish on a high by hitting 59 in the plate final against Sri Lanka in Benoni.
I've only seen Joey on a couple of occasions. The first was during that game against Warwickshire, the second was the group game against Australia at the World Cup where he hit 21, and the 3rd was the plate final. It's hard not to be impressed with a player who carried himself with a quiet confidence on the field, a trait that is more befitting of a man more senior than 18.
Having been born in Peterborough, Evison moved through the Lincolnshire pathway system (hitting centuries as he went) before landing with Nottinghamshire, where he's navigated the age-group journey to the first team. His first-team debut at such a young age is the latest in a long list of achievements.
He broke the Nottinghamshire county U15 batting record by scoring 1,270 runs at an average at 61. He captained the Midlands U15 in the Bunbury festival and went on to represented England Schools. He's a product of the Stamford School where he made his first-team debut at the age of just 13 and hit his first century for the first-team at just 14.
A natural athlete, Joey was offered a place in the Leicester Tigers academy, played junior football for Peterborough and county hockey for Cambridgeshire, however, he chose to pursue a career in cricket and it's hard to argue that he made the wrong choice.
Joey has been under the guidance of Peter Moore's at Nottinghamshire and former England bowler Dean Headley who acts as Stamford's school's director of cricket.
Evison has a fluidity to his game which he combines with good legside power to score runs quickly, as we saw with his 50* against Sri Lanka in December, which came off just 18 balls.
At the moment I would say from what I've seen, his batting is ahead of his bowling and it may be that he concentrates on his batting with his right-arm medium bowling acting as a nice addition to his game.
He's not a finished product, you wouldn't expect that at the age of 18. However, he has an opportunity to get some first-team cricket under his belt when/if the 2020 season gets underway. He's a top-class talent and an exciting player to watch for both Nottinghamshire and England fans.