Mum's the word for grateful Carberry

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Michael Carberry

Micharl Carberry admits he would not be where he is now without the support of his mother and input of former captain Shane Warne

England newcomer Michael Carberry has credited two people with bringing him back from the brink of retirement and into contention for a Test debut: his mother and Shane Warne.

Carberry, 29, was drafted in for the tour of Bangladesh after fellow opener Andrew Strauss opted to take a break from international cricket to recharge his batteries.

That call-up capped a remarkable change in fortunes for a player who gave serious consideration to quitting the professional game five years ago.

By then he had already left a star-studded Surrey dressing room for Kent, where he was again struggling to nail down a first-team spot.

But after receiving unwavering support from his mother Maria, he earned a contract with Hampshire, where the captaincy of Australia legend Warne took his game to the next level.

Now he is looking to complete the transformation by getting the nod from England for the first Test in Chittagong on Friday.

"I've waited a long time for this, I've even lost my hair as well," Carberry joked. "I've been working towards this for 10 years, so these are exciting times for me.

"I was probably 50-50 about whether to quit. I was frustrated about not getting the breaks I wanted. I reached the point in pre-season where I'd been batting as well as I ever had been and couldn't get in the Kent team for whatever reason.

"I remember coming home and speaking to my Mum and I just said ‘I think this could be my last season’."

But Maria continued to show belief in her son and, since his arrival at the Rose Bowl, consistent runs in the domestic game caught the eye of the England selectors.

Michael Carberry

Carberry, granted "licence to show my flair" by Warne, thrust himself into the selectors' thoughts by sheer weight of runs

"Mum's obviously my biggest fan. She was a big influence on keeping me in the game and I value her opinion a lot," he said.

"She's obviously been on the journey with me throughout and she saw how frustrated and down I was getting from not being able to be where I wanted to be. She's always believed in my talents and has kept me going."

While Carberry believes her support gave him the resolve to work through the hard times of his early career, it is Warne whom he credits with the technical and mental improvements he has exhibited since his Hampshire debut in 2007.

"Playing under Shane Warne was a massive spur to getting me here and opening up my game," he said.

"Going into a set-up at Hampshire where I was 100% backed made a big difference. You need that as a young player.

"Under his leadership he got me to look at my cricket from a different angle. As we all know, Shane Warne is one of the most attacking captains in cricket and that sort of spilled over to me and gave me licence to show my flair.

"He always tried to teach us younger guys that cricket is about finding a way. That's the main thing I learned from him."

Carberry must win one more battle if he is to achieve his dream of a Test debut next week, with the likelihood of five bowlers meaning he could be going head to head with Jonathan Trott for a place in the side.

As a natural opener, Carberry has the advantage of being a like-for-like replacement for Strauss, but Trott is more established in the team.

"I don't know at this stage whether I'll play," he said. "I'm just trying to focus on my own game and make sure I'm in the best condition I can be I should the call come."


The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via, and in store from April 29

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