Young wicketkeeper keen to impress

Wednesday 4th November 2009

Kent’s young wicketkeeper Paul Dixey (pictured)is hoping to get more first-team opportunities in 2010, after completing his studies at Durham University. The 22 year-old, who is a product of the Kent pathway for young cricketers , played three matches at the end of last season and helped Kent to a dramatic last over win against Leicestershire in the NatWest Pro40.

The Kent website (KW) caught up with him during a recent fitness session to get his thoughts on the winter and next season.

KW: You were last man standing in the recent bleep test, how are you feeling now?

PD: Well I think I’ve recovered! I didn’t really enjoy the dreaded bleep test. It wasn’t very pleasurable but fitness is a key element of cricket now. It is becoming more and more prominent in the modern game and there are now greater demands on playing professional sport and getting through a whole season; both physically and mentally.

KW: You played three times for the first team last season. Was it good to get your opportunity at the end of the season?

PD: Yes, I was pleased to get a go. Jonesy is obviously the number one keeper and a fantastic player. I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I will get further opportunities. I enjoyed getting a little run in the side and I now need to keep working hard in practice so that I“m ready when I do get a go in the future.

KW: What have you got lined up for the winter?

PD: At the moment, I“m just keeping myself fit. I have a potential trip to Durban in January to look forward to. I“m not sure if it will come off but hopefully I will go out to South Africa and work with Graham Ford and the Dolphins. We are still at the early stages of discussions but Fordie has said there is a good opportunity and both Sam (Northeast) and I are keen to go. Hopefully an agreement can be reached because it is an incredible opportunity for both of us to train and play at such a great facility. If it does come off then I“m sure that it will help our development.

KW: You“ve now completed your studies up at Durham University. Was that a good experience?

PD: Yes, it was great fun. I“ve completed my studies now and managed to scramble a 2:1 in natural science. I loved it up in the north east. I enjoyed both the cricket and my studies. Graham Fowler, the former Lancashire and England batsman, was a good cricket coach and helped me with my life skills too! It was an enjoyable experience but I“m back now and ready to really crack on.

KW: You“ve touched on your future. Will it help that Paul Farbrace is back as head coach?

PD: I think so. Both of the coaches at Kent, Farby and Wilco (Simon Willis), are former wicketkeepers so I guess it will help me with my game. From quite an early age, around the age of 10, Wilco has been my mentor. I also picked up lots of useful tips from Foxy Fowler up at Durham. I guess Farby coming back will only help too. As a former keeper, he understands the situation I find myself in and it will be quite easy to bounce ideas off of both Farby and Wilco. I guess I“m in a great situation and cannot wait for 2010 season to get underway.