Jamie Overton enjoying life in the marquee

One of the most exciting things in the marquee at the Cooper Associates County Ground this week was the sight of a fully fit Jamie Overton running in off his full run up and bowling at real pace.

The 23-year-old started off last season strongly and in the opening five red-ball games in which he played he delivered some devastating spells that saw him claim 12 Specsavers County Championship wickets at 26 runs apiece. He also claimed nine scalps in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Sadly he suffered a stress fracture of the back that caused him to miss the rest of the season.

He has now completed a successful rehabilitation programme and on Wednesday morning he was back doing what he does best, bowling fast and giving batsmen a hard time.

One of those who was on the receiving end was Marcus Trescothick who said afterwards: “Jamie is coming on very nicely and this was his first bowl on the grass after being away. He was a bit lively!

“It’s great for us when you see someone like Jamie running in and bowling like he is. The problem is holding him back so that he doesn’t peak too soon and is ready to deliver when we start our Specsavers County Championship season in about six weeks time.”

Regarding his bowling at the moment Jamie said: “It was coming out alright for me and I’m now getting to where I was. I’m just trying to bowl as quick as I can and getting my body back to how it was in previous years. I’ve got so used to bowling at 70-80% but now I feel I’m getting back to where I was last year, which is very promising.

“In pre-season you always want to challenge the batters. The nets aren’t just there so that batsmen can have a hit, the bowlers have got to use it for something as well.

“It will all come together by bowling and bowling and it’s all systems go for me now. I just need to keep on rehearsing a bit more and get back up to speed again.”

One of those who was watching the paceman charging in was Kevin Shine. The former Somerset player and Head Coach is now the Lead Fast Bowling Coach for the ECB.

Regarding Kevin watching him, Jamie said: “I’ve done a lot of work with Shiney in the past so it’s always a bit of an incentive to have him watching me bowling. It’s great to have both Jason Kerr and Shiney around because they both know my bowling and how I go about it.

“I just want to get going now and get into a competitive game situation, because that always brings out the best in me.”

After watching Jamie bowl Kevin said: “Jamie has had a long, long winter where he has had to strip everything back to the basics, rebuild his fitness and rebuild his action, but this morning we saw some really exciting stuff. He started to bowl fast, especially at Marcus Trescothick! I enjoyed watching that and it was the Jamie that we know.

“At the ECB we have seen a lot of Jamie and we understand his potential, but I think the most gratifying thing for me is how much this is part of a collaboration between Jason Kerr at Somerset and myself and we work very closely. Jason is a fine fast bowling coach and has come up with some really good ideas for Jamie’s rehab. We’ve been able to help with that by taking Jamie away to South Africa and to Desert Springs so that he can get off his long run up.”

Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr, who has been involved with Jamie ever since he first came onto the Academy, said: “He’s bowling very well at the moment. He’s had a fantastic winter and has spent time here and with the ECB fast bowling programme building towards the summer.

“The exciting thing for Jamie and for us is that his pace is back to where it was before he got injured and the modifications he has made from a health point of view are working.

“The marquee has been of huge benefit for him because he is running up on grass and it takes him out of the indoor school, which is a hard surface. He is chomping at the bit to get going. The challenge now is to stay patient, keep doing the right things and the summer will be here before he knows it.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground