Shane impressed by what he saw in Sri Lanka

Seven Somerset players and several players from the Pathway have recently returned from a pre-season trip to Sri Lanka.

Somerset Batting Coach, Shane Burger was one of the coaches working with the players, and he was impressed by what he saw.

“The trip was really good for everyone involved,” he said. “Whenever you get to go away and experience different cultures and conditions, you’re always going to learn, whether you’re a player or a coach. It was also a chance for us to spend some time together as a group and that’s always time well spent.

“I was really impressed by what I saw out there, and everyone worked really hard. It was incredibly hot and humid, but the effort and attitude from everyone was outstanding. You could see people transferring what they’d been working on in the winter in to place out on the grass, and since we’ve got back you can really see how beneficial the trip has been for the guys in terms of what they’ve been working on.

“The goal of the trip was to spend time on batting. It was about spending as much time as possible facing bowling from out of the hand as opposed to being in the Centre of Excellence. At this time of year, you can’t get out on grass in the UK, and whilst the indoor centre is an important facility, it’s not quite like the real thing. Sri Lankan conditions are different to the conditions that we will face in England, but it’s not just about prepping players for County Cricket, it’s about the bigger picture. Some of these players my very well be touring Sri Lanka one day. Exposing the younger players to different conditions is also extremely valuable. Ultimately, everyone who took part in the trip has come back in a good place.”

How did the professionals integrate with the younger players?

“The pros and the Academy players linked up really well, which was great to see. This is a Club that interacts really well. It’s a very welcoming group who are always willing to share knowledge with the youngsters. It’s important that youngsters get an idea of what it’s like to be a professional, get a glimpse of what the environment is like and how professionals go about their business. It’s good for them to see what the expectations are and what the behaviours are like. I’m really impressed with how our players integrate with the Academy, and long may that continue because that’s how it should be. It’s important that we as a Club make that transition from the Academy to the professional staff as seamless as possible.”

As Shane explained, the trip was as much about life experience as it was about sporting experience.

“Whenever you go to a country like Sri Lanka and witness the journey of young players and the disadvantages that many of them face, you can’t fail to take some learnings from that. Our players will have learned a lot from them and vice versa, and that kind of interaction is really valuable. It’s now important that our players hold on to that experience for as long as possible and look at how we can make a difference and how we can keep helping those people who were so accommodating to us. We are very privileged to be able to play a sport, and going over there and experiencing what other people have to contend with was an important experience.”