Harry Brook: The sports teacher whose belief in new England sensation won a £10,000 bet

Harry Brook: The sports teacher whose belief in new England sensation won a £10,000 bet

Harry Brook’s former school teacher tipped him to play for England with a colleague cashing in to win £10,000.

Brook, who has thrived in five appearances in Test cricket for England so far, hit a superb 186 in the second Test against New Zealand.

Now averaging 89.88 in the longer format of the game, Brook’s former school cricket coach, Martin Speight, now head of cricket at Sedbergh school in Cumbria, backed his former pupil from the age of 14 to reach the top.

Speight told Mark Shopland, then the school’s head of hockey, about the mercurial talent, with Shopland acting on his advice and placing money on him to reach the pinnacle of the game.

“He put a bet on of £100 at 100-1,” Speight said in the Times. “Unfortunately, I didn’t.”

Brook now has 809 runs in his first nine innings, which tops a record standing since 1993.

The 24-year-old was not always as sure as his his teachers about his potential though.

“I was a bit of a chubby kid,” Brook remembered of his time at Sedbergh, where he had earned a scholarship for his sporting prowess.

“I needed to lose a bit of weight and that was probably the best place to go for that.”

Brook has spoken glowingly about time in the middle with one of England’s all-time greats Joe Root in New Zealand.

Harry Brook excelled again in New Zealand (AP)
Harry Brook excelled again in New Zealand (AP)

“Both me and Joe were moving around quite a lot in the crease, just trying to put the bowlers off their lengths,” Brook said after the pair added centuries in the first innings in this week’s second Test.

“There was a little bit in the pitch early on so we were just trying to negate that really.

“He’s unbelievable to bat with, I’ve played plenty of games with him now and I enjoy every game.

“I think we were a perfect partnership there. He obviously struggled a little bit at the start and couldn’t quite middle anything but then as he got into it later into his innings, he was the Joe Root everyone knows and loves.”