Talented youngsters ready for Sri Lanka experience

Some of the players that Somerset are hoping will be stars of the future will be heading to Sri Lanka in the next few days for a pre-season training camp.

Several of the region’s best young talent will be making the fortnight-long trip as Matt Drakeley, Head of Talent Pathway, explains.

“We’ve got 12 Academy players plus some additional players from our Pathway and from Devon’s Pathway who will be heading for Colombo from February 6th for two weeks. The tour is predominantly a practice camp. There will be a two-day fixture, but the majority of the time will be spent training, mainly against spin. We’ve got plenty of net bowlers lined up who want to come and have a bowl at us, and it presents a really good opportunity for us to practice positive intent against spin.”

It was announced earlier this week that some of Somerset’s First Team squad would be making the same trip, which is something that Matt thinks will be of additional benefit.

“We will be going over there at the same time as several of the Somerset First Team players, and this presents a really good opportunity for our players to mix with the professionals and learn from their processes. It will give them the chance to see at first hand what high-level practice and behaviours look like. I’m really excited about the fact that Jason Kerr and Shane Burger will have the chance to come and watch some of our players. That shows how deep the connectivity across the Club is from the Pathway all the way through to the professionals.”

It’s not just about the cricket though, as Matt explained.

“It’s important for the Academy lads to understand the culture and to immerse themselves within that. The way that cricket is ingrained into the culture in Sri Lanka is fascinating and, in the past, we’ve seen our players sharing kit with the Sri Lankan players and things like that. When you see the impact that this sort of thing has on people, it’s a great example of the holistic benefits of the tour. It’s not just about being able to practice at great facilities in hot weather.”

You can find out more about the tour below.