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The Parkinson Cricketing Twins Return to Bolton School

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Cricketing twins Callum and Matthew Parkinson, having left Bolton School in the summer of 2013, returned to Bolton School to talk to the current crop of aspiring elite athletes. In an informal question and answers session, the two 22 year olds talked candidly about their time at School and as professional cricketers playing for Leicestershire and Lancashire.

Matthew recalled how he was picked for Lancashire at the age of 10 and played with the Academy until he was 17 years old; he recalled how the School was always supportive of him during this time, conscious that he was contributing a lot to school, district and county cricket. Both players talked about the struggles of keeping on top of their school work and how they had to develop a routine, manage their time and often work at lunchtime. Both commented on how once they had left Bolton School aged 16 they felt more isolated and thought they would have got better A level results if they had stayed on! Matt signed professionally for Lancashire in his last year of college.

Callum talked about his time at Lancashire and his decision to sign for Derbyshire and then, after a year, for Leicestershire. Asked about his career path, he told boys and girls that they need to look at the bigger picture and if things are not going your way and you do not see a clear path then don’t be afraid to take a risk. He told how, aged 16, he went down a couple of leagues and worked his way back up.

Matt reflected how, at 11 years old, he was the fastest bowler with Lancashire at that age but after talking it over with his dad, by the time he was the age of 14 he had changed to become a seam bowler.

The twins reminisced on how their year group had been blessed with sporting talent, including a crop of good footballers and Haseeb Hameed who went on to become England’s youngest cricketing opener in 2016. They recalled winning the U15s’ ESCA/ECB T20 National Cricket Final in 2012 with an emphatic 10 wicket victory over Whitgift School from Croydon. Both players also recounted their best cricketing moments at school with Callum citing a score of over 100 against Merchant Taylors’ School when he was in Y11. Matt said for him personally, he always enjoyed ‘playing up’ a few years as it put him out of his depth and made him improve. From Y8 onwards, he regularly played in the School’s first team. Both were impressed with the School’s new elite athlete programme and talked of the importance of developing a relationship with teachers around work and exams.

Asked about playing each other, they agreed that this was ‘one to get through’. Matt recalled how they were playing each other in the final game of the season when he learnt that he had been selected for the England Test and T20 squads to tour New Zealand this winter. The Chairman of Selectors had tried to call him but he was fielding at the time and word got out to him via players on the pitch! Callum also looked forward to playing cricket over the winter in Adelaide and pointed out it was not too far away for him to go and watch his brother in action for England.

Both cricketers attended Bolton School from the Junior Boys’ School (Park Road) until Y11 of Senior School, leaving in 2013.

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