From Silksworth to Sydney – Sunderland cheers on our Ashes star Scott Borthwick

England's Scott Borthwick bowls during day one of the Fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia. Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
England's Scott Borthwick bowls during day one of the Fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia. Picture by Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
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FROM the streets of Silksworth to Sydney Cricket Ground.

As a young Sunderland schoolboy, Scott Borthwick loved nothing more than long summer days playing cricket in his local park.

Before long, the future star was playing for Philadelphia and Eppleton cricket clubs, making a name for himself as “one to watch”.

But even then, his family could never have dreamed that one, cold January night in 2014 they would gather around the television in their Wearside home to watch Scott claim his first ever Ashes wicket thousands of miles away in the Aussie sunshine.

The 23-year-old leg-spinner, a former Farringdon School pupil, took his wicket when Australia’s Mitchell Johnson was caught by sub fielder Joe Root on the first day of the fifth Test at the famous cricket ground.

Dad George, 53, was glued to the TV screen throughout the early hours as Scott got his first taste of the fierce competition Down Under.

It was a defining moment for George who supported and championed his son as he rose through the ranks.

“I was sat up all night watching it, and I never missed a ball,” said George, married to Scott’s mum Denise, 50.

“I never even felt tired, but that must have been the adrenaline of seeing Scott play in the Ashes.”

Despite taking a wicket, Scott, a massive Sunderland AFC fan, saw 49 runs hit off his seven overs, something which his dad says he knows he will need to better in the next innings.

Australia were all out for 326, with England 8-1 at the close of play.

“It’s great that he has taken a wicket, but Scott will be the first to admit he could have done better,” said George.

“Maybe nerves played a big part, but I know that he’ll learn from it.”

England are bidding to avoid a humiliating 5-0 whitewash in Australia, in a tour which has been beset by problems and heavy defeats.

But George said that for Scott, being involved in the England first XI in the Ashes will improve him as a player immeasurably.

“It’s been tough for England, but whatever happens now, Scott’s been given a great chance,” added George, of Quarry Street.

“We thought he was coming home on Christmas Eve, but then we got a phonecall to say he was staying, and it’d be another two or three weeks at least.

“He should be back on the 27th of January, and then he goes away to Sri Lanka with England Lions.”

The latest high for Scott comes on the back of a County Championship winner’s medal with Durham, the third in the club’s history.

“He’s been playing for a club called Northern District in Sydney, and the standard is excellent,” said George.

“It’s been a great few months for him, and Scott says it’s been fantastic.

“He’s been well looked after by friends over there and has had a great time.”