Callum Hawkins focused on getting the job done at ‘special club’

Staffordshire County Cricket Club wicketkeeper-batsman Callum Hawkins.

You would be forgiven for thinking that Callum Hawkins might have an extra spring in his step this week.

After all, on Sunday he will represent Staffordshire on his home ground of Moddershall & Oulton in the NCCA Knockout Trophy Group Four game against Buckinghamshire.

The Hawkins’ are synonymous with the club and members of the family will be watching on – including dad Andy, himself a former Staffs player.

But wicketkeeper-batsman Hawkins is just focused on winning the game to keep Staffordshire’s bid for a quarter-final place alive.

Staffordshire have won one and lost one of their completed matches, while last week’s long trip to Dorset fell victim to the weather.

‘Only one outcome’

So, Staffs know that victory is their only option on Sunday (11am).

“I’ve tried not to give it too much thought,” said the 19-year-old, when asked about how special the day will be. “I know it’s a special club for me and my family – it is my family’s cricket club.

“That has to be at the back of my mind, though, because there’s a job to do. That’s my main focus.

“The pitches we’ve played on so far have offered a fair bit for the bowlers early on, which has made it difficult.

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“We’ve perhaps not had the rub of the green at times either. After the first two games with the bat, it makes us more determined to put on a show on Sunday.”

Hawkins made his county debut in the Twenty20 competition, featuring in the Bank Holiday matches against Shropshire and Cheshire.

Spencer Byatt was preferred for T20 finals day, which Staffs won, but Hawkins has taken the gloves in the 50-over programme.

‘Leading the way’

He has also been entrusted to open the batting, justifying that decision with 50 in the opening-round win at Wales.

It’s not an alien position for the young right-hander, with him opening the batting for Moddershall & Oulton in the NSSCL Premier Division – at one stage bashing out back-to-back tons this summer.

“I would be odd for me to say I didn’t want to play more, but I understand that Spencer has experience and offers lots of qualities,” added Hawkins.

“It was a bit frustrating, but I understood the reasons why that decision was made.

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“Personally, I just try to think about my own cricket and take whatever opportunities come my way. I was determined to do well in the 50-over and try and stay in the present.

“I enjoy opening the batting. The power play means the opposition can only have two men out. So you can play in a way not normally associated with opening the batting. In a way there’s less pressure because there’s more gaps. In fact, it’s quite relaxing.

“It was nice to get 50 against Wales, but I was disappointed not to kick on because the opportunity was there to get a big score. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.

“I am an extremely competitive person. When it’s an occasion like Sunday, you want to be the person who puts their hand up and makes a contribution.”


Hawkins had previously been part of the Derbyshire system and has also appeared for Warwickshire 2nd XI.

However, he is now focused on his Staffordshire commitments – and simply enjoying his cricket.

“Derbyshire came to a natural end. It didn’t help that I broke my finger, although I did get a few decent scores,” explained Hawkins.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about being a pro cricketer. Sometimes on the pathway system or the academy route you can get a bit lost.

“People expect different things in terms of how you should play. This season I’ve just focused on enjoying my cricket. That will bring out the best version of me out.

“I think it’s worked for me so far.”

If results don’t fall in Staffordshire’s favour over the next week, then this Sunday will mark the end of their 50-over journey.

‘Red-ball aim’

Attention will then turn to the three-day Championship format, which kicks off next month with a trip to play Suffolk at Bury St Edmunds.

Hawkins says he’s relishing the prospect of featuring in those games – if selected – and wouldn’t be averse to staying at the top of the order as well as fulfilling keeping duties.

“I want to play the three-dayers. My aim is to play as much as possible and I’d love the opportunity to be in the Championship,” he said.

“Opening in red ball is not something I’ve done Derbyshire, Warwickshire or Staffordshire. But I’d be open to doing it if that’s the way Staffs wanted to go.”

There is a buzz about Hawkins as he talks through Staffordshire’s season so far.

And he puts the feel-good factor down to the environment created by captain James Kettleborough and head coach Andy Carr.

“Carri and Ketts are very professional and it’s a great group to be around,” added Hawkins.

“We’re well looked after and it’s nice to be involved with Staffordshire. We all enjoy it and the experience of game days.”

Hopefully Hawkins and his team-mates will have another enjoyable day this Sunday.

Callum Hawkins is being kindly sponsored by OBI Property for the 2023 season.

Picture: Staffordshire County Cricket Club wicketkeeper-batsman Callum Hawkins. Image: Alfie Shenton