Ready, Willing and Abell
Club Captain Tom Abell returned to the Cooper Associates County Ground this week after spending the winter in Australia.
The 22 year old impressed during his time Down Under and helped his side to lift some silverware as he explained when he spoke to us on Wednesday. “We had a pretty successful time over in Perth playing for Fremantle,” he said. “We won the T20 and are in the final of the one-day competition which takes place at the weekend. The team are in a good place in the two day stuff too, so it’s been a pretty successful few months.”
How did Tom judge his own form? “I’m pretty happy with how I’ve been going,” he said. “I’ve been working hard on a few things from a batting point of view and I feel in a pretty good place at the moment. When you go to Australia as an overseas player you always want to contribute to the team and it was nice to be able to do that. It was my second year at Fremantle so I knew what I would be in for this winter and it’s been a fantastic few months. They like to get stuck in to the Poms over there but there were seven or eight other English lads who had pretty good seasons in Perth so it was nice to show the Aussies that we can play a bit!
“Although I’ve been away in Perth I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming season and my new role. I’m really excited about being Captain. It’s going to be a real challenge but it’s something that I am massively looking forward to. I’ve been doing some reading and coming up with a few ideas. I’ve also been in touch with Chris Rogers about captaincy. At the end of the day I’ve got to be strong and believe in myself a little bit and the help of senior players like Tres, Tregs, Hildy and the other senior players is going to be invaluable. I just can’t wait to get started now. The pressure is going to start cranking up as the season approaches but I’m going to give it everything and stick to what I believe in. The support of the guys has been great so far and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Although he had an outstanding winter Tom is pleased to be back on home soil. “It’s good to be home and to see all the lads who have also come back from their travels,” he said. “It’s been great to catch up with everyone and we’ve got a really close-knit group here. Everyone gets on so well and it’s been really good to see everyone again.
It was revealed last week that Tom will bat at number three with new signing Dean Elgar opening the batting with Marcus Trescothick. How does Tom feel about that? “Obviously I love opening the batting with Tres but I am more than happy to bat anywhere,” he explained. “Dean is a great signing for us at the top of the order. He’s been playing so well for South Africa lately and there’s absolutely no issue for me batting at three. It’ll give me a little bit of extra time to gather my thoughts and get ready for batting after captaining in the field.”
Tom and the other players returning from a winter away won’t have long to settle back in because the squad will be heading to Desert Springs in Spain on Monday for their annual pre-season training camp about which Tom said: “We all absolutely love going over there for pre-season. The last two years there were a fantastic experience and it’s where the preparations really start in earnest. The batsmen get put under a bit more pressure against the bowlers in the nets and you have to really step up your skills work. I believe that it’s hugely important to spend that time as a team. It enables us to establish our goals and the values that we want to adhere to during the season.”