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Paul heading for Hong Kong

It’s going to be a busy few weeks for Paul van Meekeren.

The Netherlands International will be jetting off around the world soon as he explained when we spoke to him earlier this week.

“At the beginning of February I’m flying to Hong Kong for a the T20 Blitz,” said the 25 year old. “I’m playing for the Kowloon Cantons and I’m very much looking forward to that. It’s only a short tournament but there are a lot of high profile players involved so it’s an exciting competition to be a part of. In our team we also have Dwayne Smith, Samit Patel and Wahab Riaz. Roelof (van der Merwe) is also playing in the tournament.

“Then after that it’s off to South Africa and Zimbabwe for the ICC World Cup qualifiers, so there’s a lot of cricket coming up for me even before the season starts and it’s all very exciting!”

What has Paul been up to since the end of last season?

“After the season finished we all had a little break and I spent a couple of weeks at home. Then I was training with the Dutch team before we flew out to South Africa and Dubai for the last round of the World Cricket League. Unfortunately, I picked up a little niggle in my back and didn’t really get the chance to play a game, so it was a pretty frustrating few weeks.

“After that I had a really nice Christmas and New Year at home before heading back here to Taunton. Since getting back I’ve been doing plenty of gym work with Joel Tratt (Somerset CCC Head of Strength & Conditioning). He’s been fantastic to be honest and it feels like he’s been here for a long time. We are just getting back in to cricket related stuff now so I’m starting to bat, bowl and field again which is fun. We’ve been doing some power hitting and things like that too. It’s been great trying to expand my own game.”

How has Paul found the new coaching structure at the Club?

“I had a good chat with Jason Kerr before I left and he’s got some fantastic ideas. He really wants to get the players involved and it’s really exciting that he will be leading the troops.”

How did Paul think he fared in 2017?

“I was quite happy with last year. Obviously, I would have liked to play more games, but I don’t think that the Essex away match (in which he took four for 60) could have gone much better for me. The feedback from the backroom staff was good so hopefully I can build on that and play a few more games this year. Whilst it’s good to play in the Second XI, I’m here to play First Team cricket and that’s what I want to do.”

At the End of Season Awards Dinner, Paul won the Player in the Community Award after playing a major role in helping the Club to deliver a number of community based initiatives.

Regarding this award he said: “It was nice to get that award and I’m looking forward to doing more again this year. It’s been great doing all the community work, especially with the kids at Selworthy School and at the All Stars sessions. Those events were certainly highlights for me last year and I’m looking forward to doing more of the same this year. I like to make people smile. If the kids are enjoying themselves, then I’m enjoying myself. It’s really important that we give something back.”

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