Valuable Experience for U18 and U15 Girls in Sri Lanka

Pathway Coach and Women & Girls Lead, Kieran Peters has just returned from leading the Somerset Under 18 and 15 girls on a 13-day cricket tour of Sri Lanka.

Following his arrival back in Taunton, Kieran talked about how the tour had gone.

“Overall, it was a really good trip and both age groups did well,” he said. “We’ve spent the winter block working on technical skills, so to be thrown into a lot of matchplay was nice and it was really good to see how some of the things that we’ve been working on transitioned into gameplay.

“As the tour went on, the players all got better across all three skills and that was evidenced in some really good learnings about playing in different conditions and facing different challenges.”

How did the players cope with the heat?

“I don’t think it was easy for them in terms of the heat because it was very hot and on no day did it drop below 25 degrees. It was super tough out there, but the thing that was really pleasing for us was that they all stuck at it and all kept fighting as hard as they could in games. They have all definitely learned some skills that they would not have got to experience back in the UK.

“I was really impressed with the surfaces we played on. In terms of pitches, it was closer to what we had been training on in the indoor school in the winter than it will be when we go outside for the first time in April. They were good, hard decks that bounced and promoted some good cricket. The ball spun more than it would in the UK although it didn’t go huge, apart from one that span a little bit more.

“It was nice to play on consistently good pitches with quick outfields where there was a bit in it for all disciplines and the girls adapted to it pretty well.”

Kieran talked about some of the other aspects of Sri Lankan culture that the group got to experience.

“We had some really good trips. After our second match we drove to Yala on the south coast where we stayed in a lovely hotel with a stunning pool, and whilst we were there we went on safari.

“We also had a day trip to Galle where we went on the fort, saw the cricket ground and then went to a turtle sanctuary, which everyone enjoyed.”

What is next for the squads now that they are back?

“Now we are into the rest of our winter programme, with both age groups going into a tactical block and beginning to prep for the start of the summer. Once April comes, that signals the end of the winter programme, and we start to transition outside ready for a busy season ahead.

“This has been a great preparation for the summer and really good for the girls. It’s also been good from a coaching context to see what has stuck and what areas need to develop moving into the season. It was also really good to get them away as a group so that they could spend some time together before the season starts.

“For some of the younger ones this was the first time that they’d been away for so long and the furthest that they had been, so there were some good life lessons, some good experiences and some good fun together along the way.

“We were really well received and Lions Sport, who hosted the tour, did a really good job. They have a great relationship with the hotels where we stayed and the teams that we played, so it’s a really great place to play some cricket.”

Kieran added: “Finally, I’d like to say big thanks to the three coaches who came with me on the tour: Dave Roberts, Sam Braid and Tilly Bond. Their help was invaluable.”