Tom and Lewis to appear in Bangladesh Premier League

Tom Abell and Lewis Gregory have both been signed to play for Rangpur Rangers in the Bangladesh Premier League.

The competition gets underway later this week and as Tom explains, the process has transpired rapidly.

“It’s all happened really quickly,” he said. “I found out a week ago that the Rangpur Rangers were interested in me and it’s turned out pretty well as I’ll be in the same team as Lewis. Obviously, it’s a great opportunity for me and it’s the first time that I’ve been involved in anything like this. It’ll be a slightly different Christmas for me but it’s an amazing opportunity.”

Tom made his First Class debut for Somerset in 2014 and his List A debut the following year, but he didn’t play T20 cricket for the Club until 2016. Since then his T20 game has gone from strength to strength culminating in his first T20 hundred against Middlesex this summer. Regarding the expansion of his game in the shortest format, Tom said: “It was a big thing for me this summer how my game developed in white-ball cricket. I had issues with that in the past, but this year I felt like I found a way of being successful. It was nice to be able to contribute for Somerset in limited overs cricket and that’s had a bit of a knock-on effect for me.”

Is Tom looking forward to lining up alongside Lewis in the BPL?

“If Lewis wasn’t sick of me at the end of this season then I’m sure he’ll be sick of me by the end of this trip,” Tom said. “I’m so proud of Lewis and how well he’s done in the last few years. It’s great to see him getting the recognition that he deserves because I think he deserves it more than anyone else in the country. He and I have a great relationship and I’m really looking forward to spending some time with him in a different environment. Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to play together.”

It’s been a busy winter so far for Lewis. Somerset’s Vitality Blast Captain has recently returned from playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition.

What was that like?

“The T10 was really interesting,” Lewis said. “It was my first experience of that format and it’s very high paced and you have to be going from ball one. There’s no opportunity for you to have a look and it really is quite hard. It requires different skills to T20 cricket because you don’t have the chance to take a few balls to get your eye in. You’ve got to be whacking it out of the park from ball one. It’s a good format that I could see working in something like the Olympics. It’s definitely a batsman’s game!

“You definitely want to be in the top four because if you’re batting at six or seven you’re coming in to face five or six balls and you have to get around 25 runs! It’s pretty tough, but it was good fun. It’s great if you’re at the top of the order and you can make a real impact. We saw Tom Banton make 80-odd off about 20 balls or something ridiculous like that. It was good to be out there with a coupe of guys that I knew.”

How important is it for the modern-day player to be taking part in tournaments like the T10 and the BPL?

“It’s great experience because you’re playing against some of the world’s best players, Lewis said. “To be able to talk to them and play with them is only going to help you learn as a cricketer and help you improve. Hopefully I can bring some ideas back to help us in our white-ball campaigns. To be around some of the worlds best cricketers is great and you can’t help but learn from them.”

Is Lewis glad that he will have a familiar face alongside him in the dressing room for the BPL?

“It’s brilliant to see Tommy get picked up,” he said. “He had a fantastic season last summer and the summer before that too. It’s fantastic to see him being rewarded for what he’s achieved in the last few years. He’s a beauty, so it’s nice that we’re going to be playing in the same team. It should be good fun and it’s always nice to have some familiar faces around the place when you’re away for a long time. Abes is one of those characters who you want to be around and his enthusiasm is infectious. He’s a great bloke and it will be nice to play with him and there are plenty of worse room mates that you could have!”

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