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Tom to join Academy trip to India

Seven of the eight players currently on the Somerset Academy will be heading to India soon.

Nathan Gilchrist, Ben Wells, Sam Young, Ned Leonard, Will Smeed, Lewis Goldsworthy and Charley Reed will be jetting off to Mumbai at the beginning of February to experience ten days playing in very different conditions. Unfortunately, Tom Lammonby has to miss out after suffering a broken hand in the build up to the ICC Under 19 World Cup.

Academy Director Steve Snell outlines how the trip came about. “We arranged a similar trip last year in order to give our young players the opportunity to bat against spin in the conditions that you get in the sub-continent,” he said. “We saw such huge gains in their awareness and skill that we have decided to do the same again this year. To go away to India and immerse yourself in a completely different culture does huge things for a player’s personal development as well.

“Last year the guys had the opportunity to face bowlers for five or six hours per day, which is something that you just don’t get in the UK. There were a huge number of Indian spinners who were keen to bowl at our young players and our lads had some great exposure to facing good bowlers for long periods of time in extreme heat. That meant that it worked really well in terms of their fitness training too. The passion for cricket over there means that there is a vast availability of players to practice with.

“The spinning ball in those conditions is not something that our young players are going to be used to, so exposing them to this is invaluable. There’s also the bonus of almost guaranteed good weather which means that we’ll be practicing outside for the majority of the trip, which is great.”

This year the Academy trip will receive the added bonus of being accompanied by Club Captain Tom Abell who will be joining them for the duration of the camp.

Regarding Tom’s inclusion Steve said: “He’s not been to India before, so it will be a completely different experience for him and it’s really exciting for us that he will be joining the group. Last year Ben Green came with us and by that point he was a first-year professional. I know that the Academy players drew a huge amount of inspiration from just watching how he went about his business. The professional players are put on something of a pedestal and to have someone of the calibre of the Club Captain joining us is just fantastic.

“One of Tom’s key strengths is his personality. People want to follow him and he is the perfect example of how to behave, both as a young man and as a cricketer. He’s polite off the field but at the same time he is ruthlessly determined on the field. That is how we want our Academy players to behave. We want them to be competitive in their cricket but also to be polite and respectful young men.”

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