‘I just told myself to go out and express myself’

Asa Tribe celebrates his maiden ODI century, 115 against Papua New Guinea. Picture: ICC (36861117)

ONE of the benefits of Jersey Cricket’s success over recent years is not only the improved opposition and their ascension through the ranks.

The Island’s best are now getting the chance to be recognised for their abilities.

The exposure for reaching the World Cup Qualifiers is massive. It has provided the team with a platform on which to perform and be recognised.

One of Jersey’s recent benefactors is 19-year-old Asa Tribe.

Crafting his trade at Farmers CC, he broke into the Jersey senior squad in 2021, making his one-day international debut in March 2023.

Just a month later he produced a superb personal performance in the ICC Men’s World Cup qualifiers, catching the eye of county side Glamorgan.

Tribe, who is studying Sports Performance Analysis at Cardiff Metropolitan University, leapt at the opportunity to join the Welsh outfit’s ranks.

However, upon his call-up to the second team for a pair of T20 matches, Tribe returned underwhelming scores of two and a first-ball duck.

Tribe said: “Even after a poor start, I still had a belief in my ability to play at a professional level. That wasn’t going to affect me. Glamorgan told me I might get an opportunity in the longer format games and I jumped at it.”

And what a debut it proved, as the teenager scored a composed and attractive 164 against Northamptonshire.

“Getting that century on debut was a huge step towards me playing more games,” he added.

“Once those opportunities came I managed to take them and it really kicked off from there.

“It’s been challenging though. I’ve had struggles with nerves, and I’ve learned that this can tense you up.

“I just told myself to go out and express myself. I never seem to be nervous playing any more.

“Prior to games, I watch previous footage of myself. It’s hard to look at them and not believe you are good enough. Having those reminders gives me so much confidence.”

The debut century was succeeded by an unbeaten 126 against Gloucestershire.

The season concluded with Tribe amassing 456 runs over the last four red ball games to secure the Glamorgan 2nd XI Player of the Year accolade.

From there, Glamorgan confirmed that the Jerseyman had signed on a two-year rookie contract.

Tribe continued: “It’s something I’ve dreamed about and envisaged happening. I set myself a goal to have a deal by the end of university, but it’s come round far earlier than I expected.”

This style of contract is designed for young players embarking on their professional careers.

It will allow Tribe to train and play, while also continuing his studies.

After the first year ends, the Islander will then have the opportunity to discuss with Glamorgan coaches whether he has earned a full-time professional contract.

“Over the next few months, I will be doing lots of one-on-one training, then small group training in the new year,” he added.

“The start of next season is red ball cricket in the County Championship Division Two and I would love to have a spot in the first team.

“Personally, I want to really earn a starting position in the first team. From a team perspective, we want to get promoted from Division 2 of the County Championship and we would love to have a competitive run in the T20 Blast.”

Tribe’s contract will not affect his commitment to playing for Jersey either.

When questioned with regards to the T20 and 50-over World Cup qualification tournaments next year, he said: “I would love to continue playing for Jersey. This contract does not mean I will reduce my commitment to Jersey Cricket.

“Glamorgan have said I can play in the bigger tournaments, which I’m very grateful for.”

The Jersey team will certainly benefit from his experience with Glamorgan. Tribe is particularly excited to learn from two of the biggest names in the game: Australian overseas fast bowler Michael Neser, and one of the world’s premier batters, Marnus Labuschagne, who is currently representing Australia at the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India.

Tribe said: “Even just training alongside them will be amazing. The chance to potentially bat in the middle with Marnus, it doesn’t get any bigger than that.

“My future aspirations include having a long career past the ten-year mark and to maybe even play for England.

“Working with players like that will give me such an incredible insight into the mentality of the most elite of players and I know I’ll take so much away from it.

“My parents have supported me endlessly. Whether it be my mum and dad taking me to matches, to bowl at me in the nets when I was younger, or my brother Zak to train alongside and always push me.

“We’ve gone from the back garden to international cricket together.

“Neil MacRae [Jersey national coach] has been so pivotal in my journey as well. His one-to-one sessions have certainly pushed my game along massively.

“I have to thank my original club Farmers, who gave me the opportunity to play regularly from a young age and I’m extremely grateful for that. None of this would be possible without the people around me.”

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