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Tade Carmichael brings Caribbean style to Foxton challenge

Tade Carmichael in action for Foxton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Tade Carmichael in action for Foxton. Picture: Keith Heppell

It is perhaps unsurprising that the two standout innings of the summer for Foxton have been delivered by Tade Carmichael.

In the five-wicket win over St Ives Town & Warboys in July, the 31-year-old made an unbeaten 149 off just 105 balls, which included 23 fours.

A week later in a 128-run win over Ramsey, the No 3 pilfered 148 from 121 balls, this time featuring 20 fours and four sixes.

That form with the bat, though, has its pedigree in the West Indies, and particularly Grenada.

Carmichael is in his first season with Foxton, having been brought to the club by wicketkeeper and batsman Lenon Lawrence.

“The season has been really great for me, coming in for the first time and playing for Foxton – it’s been a good season so far, I can’t complain,” says Carmichael.

“I had a cousin [Lawrence] who played for Foxton and he told the chairman about me, the level and standard that I played at, representing the Army and playing all over the country.”

Carmichael honed his game in the Caribbean Premier League and West Indies Professional Cricket League before joining the British Army
in 2016.

“I played against the likes of Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Bravo, I’ve been among
the mix.

“Daren Sammy was my captain for a number of years, playing in the Caribbean Premier League, for St Lucia Zouks.

“I played in that for a couple of years and I really learned a lot of stuff.

“I’ve been playing contracted cricket since 2013, but 2016 was when I decided to join the Army and I decided that I really wanted to play cricket in the UK.

“I like how cricket is played over here and the standards and the opportunity that I get to play so I just decided to move over to the UK.

“I’m originally from Grenada, and growing up playing as a kid I used to study about the UK and how cricket is there, and my biggest dream was to come over and play cricket.

“I’m really glad for the opportunity, and I’m here now playing, and not only playing for myself but helping out individual young talents who are coming through, sharing my experience with them.”

Tade Carmichael has been in form for Foxton. Picture: Keith Heppell
Tade Carmichael has been in form for Foxton. Picture: Keith Heppell

The left-handed batsman had played for Grenada at under-15 and under-19 level, then represented the national team.

He also represented the Windward Islands cricket team, which consists of players from four of the smaller islands in the West Indies, in the West Indies Professional Cricket League and then St Lucia Zouks, now renamed the St Lucia Knights, in the CPL.

The talent for big scores, off minimal deliveries, was on show earlier this month, when he made 168 not out from 110 balls at the Army Cricket Ground against Free Foresters.

“I have been doing that over the past years,” says Carmichael. “Just two months ago, I broke the Army record for the highest individual score in Aldershot.

“It’s things that I’ve been doing over the past years, going on to get really big scores once I get in; I’ve been doing that throughout my career.”

The Abingdon-based 4 Regiment Royal Logistics Corp private has a highest career knock of 231 off what he says “would be nothing more than 130 balls”, which fits into the stereotype created of big-hitting West Indian batsmen.

“I think it is pretty much in us,” he says. “We like just going out there and expressing ourselves and entertaining the fans.”

In many ways, that is lucky as Carmichael is kept busy all summer long, playing for the Army, Combined Services and corps, and Foxton. It means that he is playing pretty much every day of the week.

The atmosphere at the Cambridgeshire village team helped him settle in quickly.

“I think it’s a really good bunch of guys, a really good team,” says Carmichael.

“We stick together and that’s why we’re in the top four, going hard to win the final in the next couple
of weeks.

“In the St Giles game [which assured a play-off spot], we were missing probably seven of our main players and getting second string players and I captained this inexperienced side.

“We went about it well, with a couple of senior players, and we happened to pull through to be in the top four.”

With Foxton joined in the top four by leading duo Eaton Socon and Histon, as well as fourth-placed Wisbech Town, Carmichael is not shy in backing his own ability when it matters most.

“I know the two top teams are doing well, and I know that cricket is not a one-man sport and you need team-mates around you, but once I click in any game, teams have to worry."

Foxton’s opponents have been dutifully warned that they can expect the Grenadan to have them locked and loaded in his sights as the season reaches the showdown stage.

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