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Barrett gets his first ton for Northamptonshire

Most cricketers can name the date of their first proper century. An under-19s match or a second XI fixture perhaps. Not so Chad Barrett, who took until the age of 27 and his second appearance for Northamptonshire to notch his first ton. 

 It came on the second day against Worcestershire at New Road and remarkably was made from No. 10. He went on to make the highest score by a Northamptonshire No. 10. It wasn’t a bad effort for a County Championship debut.

 “I couldn’t have wished for better,” Barrett said. “I was waiting for my opportunity for two years so I wanted to make the most of it,” Barrett’s first-class debut came for Northants against Sri Lanka back in 2014.

 He shared 145 for the ninth wicket with Steven Crook - a record for Northants against Worcestershire - getting to 91 when Crook was dismissed. 

 “I was grateful for Crooky and then Ben to keep me going. I didn’t really think about anything when Steve got out, I had faith in Ben. I just went ball by ball and to get over the three digits was really good.

 “I didn’t want to stay in the 90s for too long - I’ve been there before a few times and never got to a hundred so I thought I’ve got to take this chance, so I came down the wicket and hit it for four and luckily it came off.

 “It meant a lot for me. Two years waiting between first-class matches is a long time and you think to yourself ‘are you going to play another one?’ When I was given the nod I thought I must take this chance to show what I can do and thankfully I’ve done that with the bat.”

 Barrett arrived from his native South Africa to play club cricket first at Taunton. A variety of spells in Premier Leagues around the country - most recently in Hertfordshire where he now lives - and games for several second XIs, including two matches in August for Northamptonshire, followed.

 “I’ve been very fortunate with several coaches helping me out and my parents back home pushing me - my mum in particular has kept saying ‘you’re good enough to be playing, so keep going’. I’m grateful for that support.

 “I’ve just kept on at it. It’s tough going around to try and prove yourself but that’s the lot of a sportsman trying to prove himself.”

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