Dom Sibley can’t wait to taste the “fantastic atmosphere” at The Kia Oval on Friday night when he lines up for Birmingham Bears against Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final.
Just a month after joining the Bears on a three-year deal from Surrey, Sibley will face his former team-mates in one of the biggest occasions of the domestic season – with a place at Finals Day at Edgbaston on September 2 at stake.
The 21-year-old has hit the ground running with the Bears. Four T20 innings have brought him 155 runs, including two half-centuries, at an average of 51.67 with an impressive scoring rate of 133.62.
"I was at Edgbaston when Surrey got to Finals Day in 2014 but didn’t play so I would love to be involved in what it is a really great occasion."
Now he wants to maintain that form on Friday – in an environment he knows very well, having graduated through the Surrey youth system.
“The Oval on a Friday night with a big crowd in will be a fantastic atmosphere and I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
“As soon as the draw was known last Friday I started getting plenty of messages from friends down there. My family will be there and it will be the first time they have seen me play against Surrey so it will be strange. But all my thoughts will be on helping the Bears get through to Finals Day.
“I was at Edgbaston when Surrey got to Finals Day in 2014 but didn’t play so I would love to be involved in what it is a really great occasion.”
Sibley’s arrival at the Bears, along with that of Adam Hose and the emergence of Ed Pollock, has given their T20 campaign real impetus at the top of the order.
All three batted brilliantly in the crucial victory over Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford last Friday. And while Pollock and Hose delivered some spectacular six-hitting, arguably the shot of the night came from Sibley who reached his half-century with a sublime maximum eased over extra-cover.
The Epsom-born player is pleased with the way he has started and insists it helps to know there are plenty of good players around him in the side.
“We have spoken as a team about how we want to bat in T20 and if you get two or three guys getting runs at the top of the order that’s a good platform,” he said. “But that’s not always going to happen in this format and the great thing is we have the depth to cope if it doesn’t.
“Against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge we lost early wickets but Sam Hain and Aaron Thomason batted brilliantly to get us a good total. We have a lot of guys who are very dangerous with the bat.”