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James reflects on "great experience"

Somerset gave another Academy player the opportunity to play in the First XI last week when James Rew kept wicket in the final pre-season match against Glamorgan.

The 17-year-old, who plays his club cricket for Taunton St Andrews, has played his way through the Somerset age group teams and joined the Academy back in the autumn of 2019.

Shortly after the game, James talked about keeping wicket for Somerset.

“It was a great experience for me,” he said. “I was really pleased with how it went. Everyone made me feel very welcome, especially Tom Abell.  I knew that I was going to be playing a few days ahead, so I had time to prepare myself.”

How different was it to keep at this level?

“The biggest difference I found was the extra pace that there is on the ball. It’s also a little bit harder because the bowlers at that level can wobble it and swing it late after the bat which makes it harder to catch.

“The wicket was a little bit dead, so there were a couple around the ankles, but there were also some at head height which made it a bit harder as well.  However, I managed to take two catches which I was very happy about.”

What about being out on the field for that length of time?

“I have never kept in a three day game before, so that was a first for me as well. It was hard work, but the people around you when you are out on the field help to drive you forward.  There is a lot of energy out there on the field so it wasn’t too challenging for me. Everyone is working hard which helps to keep you going.”

How was it to be keeping to England Test bowler Jack Leach?

“It was a little bit different because there wasn’t much spin in the wicket and he was bowling quite quickly. I have never kept to a spinner quite like that before, so it was a bit of a challenge but he bowled pretty straight so I didn’t get too much of the ball.”

He added: “This was a huge game for me and big step. I really enjoyed the experience. It’s not very long ago that we were training indoors and now the season is a reality so its really good.”

Written by Richard Walsh

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