My winter started off in October,going onto the England Performance Programme, which had four of us, including Moin Ashraf from Yorkshire, Toby Roland-Jones from Middlesex and Matt Dunn from Surrey, doing fitness trainingup until the New Year, being week on week off up at Loughborough. The fitness involved wastwo orthree gym/cardio sessions a day throughout the weeks. All the fitness was run by Darren Veness from Somerset, whoput us through our paces all winter, getting us strong in order to get us in good shape for the summer ahead!
AfterChristmas we hadtwo more weeks in Loughborough before I was on a plane away to the MRF Pace Bowling Academy in Chennai, India to work with Australian legend Dennis Lillee. Luckily I had the chance to go therethree winters ago with Kent, so I knew a little of what to expect- and the improvements fromthree years ago were noticeable.
In my brief time there I got a call from the England Lions to join them for the finaltwo games of their tour of Sri Lanka, and a warm up game against England in Abu Dhabi as cover in their bowling attack. There I worked with Kevin Shine on my bowling. I did a fair few air miles in thethree week period, but the experience of all of it was brilliant and one that I will never forget. But hopefully I'll get another chance in the future!
It was all a big learning curve, going from country to country, bowling on different types of wickets and figuring out what I need to do to succeed. It should all be good for me coming into this season we have in front of us!
My focus from now until the season is to keep working hard on my fitness levels so hopefully I can stay fit for the whole season. In the nets I'm carrying on from where I waswith the training I had away, making improvement every day!
I have met Jimmy now and his ideas for the club sound very exciting, and I'm really looking forward to the season ahead and working closely with him throughout. I have played against Jimmy when he was playing for Lashings a few years back and he managed to claim my scalp to go with his many others that he has stashed away in his top pocket!! Haha
We face an exciting year ahead of us at Kent Cricket and I hope that everyone will be behind usin aiming for promotion back into DivisionOne and doing well in the one-day formats!!
The new signings for the summer will strengthen our squad, by them sharing their knowledge and experience.My hopes for the season are for Kent Cricket to get back into DivisionOne, and getting to the final stages of both the one-day competitions.
I have talked with Blakey a couple of times over the winter, and sounds like he's having a good time out there in Australiaand doing well and looking after Pies!!
I think that one to watch for this year is DBD.We all got a small look at what he can do last year and hopefully this year he will show more!
Bring on the season!