McCarter's dream week continues
Graeme McCarter's dream week continued today when he made the highest debut score ever by an Irishman in England.
McCarter blasted an unbeaten 29 from just 14 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes), sharing a last wicket stand of 52 in just 21 balls with Ian Saxelby to help Gloucestershire to 351-9 declared.
When you consider that he has outperformed the likes of Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan on debut, then it really is a remarkable feat, especially for someone who is primarily a bowler.
It's been a fairy-tale five days for the teenager, following his debut on Monday: Speaking to the media he said: "I couldn't have asked for more than to play my first game at Lord's in a live TV game."
"It was pretty much the perfect setting and as I stood at the start of my run-up, I thought what a wonderful opportunity it was."
"I was pretty nervous before my first ball and when Joe Denly creamed it through the covers for four I felt twice as bad. I just walked back slowly and tried to take a minute to think clearly about what I was trying to do."
McCarter has been at the West country club since being offered a trial four years ago. "I came over for the summer and have been with the academy ever since then, returning to the club in every school holiday."
"I've worked mainly with Owen Dawkins (academy director) and owe him a lot, because he has helped with my batting, as well as my bowling, in an effort to make me into a genuine all-rounder.
"This is my first year working with John Bracewell and Stuart Barnes, so things are happening quicker than I could have hoped.
"The aim for the entire summer was to play for the first team and once would have been an achievement. To have been selected twice within a month of the season starting is pretty special.
McCarter also revealed he is hoping to break through into the senior Ireland ranks and build on his one solitary cap, earned last summer against Namibia.
"My other ambition is to play for the senior Ireland team.
"I have played for the various age groups through the years and hopefully doing well in that TV game at Lord's will have been noticed by the Irish selectors.
"I've already played one four-day match at senior level at the end of last season, so I don't feel too far away."
McCarter was delighted to have his father John in the stands for his debut against Middlesex: "My dad is a big cricket fan and the second I told him I was in the squad for Lord's he was on the next flight over from Ireland."
"It was great to have him there because he has taken so much interest in my career."