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Craig jetting off again

It’s been a busy winter for Somerset and England all-rounder Craig Overton.

The 25-year-old spent the early part of December in Potchefstroom at an ECB specialist bowling camp before returning home.

However, following only four days on home soil, he was back on a ‘plane to South Africa after being called in to the England Test squad as cover for the opening two Tests.

He returned home for another four days last week before heading to Australia with England Lions ahead of their upcoming series.

We managed to speak with him for a few minutes in his hectic schedule to discuss a number of topics.

We began by talking about the bowling camp.

“It was really good,” he said. “It was all about getting out on the grass and working on a few skills. You can do that indoors but it’s not the same as being able to do it outdoors off a full run. That makes a massive difference and that’s what the camp was all about.

“I was really pleased with how I was bowling towards the end of the camp and it was nice to be bowling at Johnny Bairstow. It gives you confidence that what you’ve been working on is going in the right direction.”

Craig also explained how he got the call from the England Test squad.

“The camp finished on the 14th of December and three days later I got a call saying that I was needed as cover for the first Test because of injury and illness.

“That was a bit of a surprise, but it was really nice to get the call up and hopefully it shows that what I did during the camp helped me a little bit in that respect. I’d been out there bowling on grass and was pretty acclimatised to the conditions out there. That meant that I would be ready to go if needed.

“Test match cricket is what every kid dreams of playing, so to be around it again was special. Obviously, it was disappointing to not actually play but there’s lots of good players around at the moment fighting for a spot. It just shows that I need to keep on improving and working on my game if I want to get back into the side.

“The atmosphere after the second Test was great. Winning a Test match is always special and there were a lot of England supporters in Newlands which made it even more special. The support England get abroad is incredible and it definitely helps the players. They really do make a difference and to have that support was massive.”

After spending the weekend at home, Craig is now heading off to Australia with England Lions. It’s a trip that will generate a lot of local interest given the number of Somerset players involved with the squad.

“It just shows that the work that the coaches are doing with us at Somerset is working,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been on the Academy we’ve had players who have been coming through. It shows that we’re doing the right things down here. To have so many players involved in the England set up is great and hopefully that will continue.

“With an Ashes tour not that far away this is a massive trip for those involved and there will be a lot of competition for places.”

England image courtesy of Getty Images

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