From the nets of the Goldington Bury through to Wantage Road in Northamptonshire, it’s been quite the fast road for Bedford’s Emilio Gay in the first-class cricket arena.
And on Thursday afternoon, his ascent reached new heights with a brilliant maiden century in Canterbury against Kent in the LV County Championship.
Gay finished with 101 from 160 balls, eventually nicking behind off Jack Leaning, but not before he was able to hold his helmet aloft in celebration of an important milestone for the youngster.
Gay first put on a century partnership with fellow opener Ricardo Vasconcelos (66) before racking up another ton with number three batsman, Luke Proctor.
Emilio’s innings featured 15 boundaries and one huge six over long-off but he will now look to cement his place as Northamptonshire’s opening batsman in the games to come as the side look to chase down Lancashire.
Emilio’s first-class career began in 2019 with a solitary final-day draw against Gloucestershire, with further appearances in the special Bob Willis Trophy in 2020 during the pandemic.
Before today, his highest score was an unbeaten 77 in chasing down a slippery target in Glamorgan, and has already featured in The Cricketer magazine.
“Emilio is absolutely made for the longer format,” said Gary Steer, director of cricket at Bedford School.
“He has excellent technique, plays straight and plays each ball on its merit. The thing that stands out for me about him is his temperament which is first class.”
Northamptonshire currently sit third in their County Championship division, behind county cricket powerhouses Lancashire and Yorkshire and are well set to get a good result in Kent.