County recognises twin talent
THEY may be difficult to tell apart but the Overton twins are increasingly recognisable for their achievements on the cricket field.
At the age of 18, Craig and Jamie have both made their first-class debuts for Somerset this month.
No wonder North Devon's most promising double act are starting to attract public attention.
Jamie said: "The other day we were in the Johns shop in Instow and someone came up and said, 'Are you one of the Overton twins?'"
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Unsure what to make of that new-found fame, Craig noted: "It just feels a bit weird."
If the England under-19 internationals maintain their current progress they can expect plenty more interested onlookers.
But do not expect them to forget their cricket home here in North Devon.
Between appearances against Surrey at The Oval on Saturday and Durham at Taunton on Tuesday, they were back helping out at the grassroots of the game.
The pair answered the call to umpire for North Devon District under-9s at Westward Ho! on Sunday.
And on Monday evening they were at Instow watching North Devon colts go through their batting, fielding and bowling drills.
"We learnt a lot playing down here," said Craig.
"It's a nice feeling to come back down and see them out there doing what we were doing five or six years ago."
Jamie said: "We started for the colts team when we were 7 or 8.
"I remember one game playing here against Bideford, it was the under-17s team at the time.
"I remember fielding at mid-off against Dan Bowser and he hit it straight at me and I dropped it. I felt really bad, I felt like I had let the team down."
Mistakes happen at all levels but the top players are the ones who put them aside and respond.
These days, the twins still have that steely determination yet they seem remarkably relaxed under the spotlight.
"My debut for Somerset against Surrey was on Sky and my debut for England under-19s was on TV as well," said Jamie. "After the first one I didn't really mind. It was just another game of cricket."
Craig was the first of the brothers to make his Somerset debut when he was called up for the LV County Championship match against Lancashire.
"It was between us who would play and Craig got the nod about an hour before," said Jamie.
"I knew if he performed to the best of his ability he'd be all right. He got the big wicket of Ashwell Prince and the following game he bowled really well and got a four-for."
Craig remains modest about claiming the scalp of Prince, the South Africa batsman.
"It wasn't the best ball I've ever bowled but it's still a wicket," he said.
"It's quite a strange feeling to get a Test player out when you're only 18.
"In the Championship game against Lancashire I didn't feel as though I did what I can do. Against Durham in the CB40 game I felt like I belonged there."
The form they have shown so far suggests the Overtons could be fixtures at Somerset for years to come.
Evidently the senior players, particularly Peter Trego, are still having difficulty telling them apart.
"They still struggle," said Craig. "And they might struggle even more now we have had a haircut."
At Taunton, however, they recognise raw talent when they see it.