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Smeed scores double century on return from injury

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Somerset Academy cricketer Will Smeed has been missing for the whole of this season after undergoing surgery on his shoulder earlier in the year.

Thankfully his rehabilitation programme, supervised by Somerset physio Jamie Thorpe, has gone better than hoped and he returned to the field of play on Tuesday.

Will, who has one more year of education left at King’s College, played for Somerset Under 17s in their three day fixture against Gloucestershire at Taunton Vale, and made an impressive return.

After Somerset won the toss and opted to bat, Will walked out when the first wicket fell with the score on 11 to start his innings which is where he remained for more than 24 hours.

He went to his 50 off 34 balls with nine fours and two sixes, and his century came off 95 balls with 16 fours and three sixes. By the end of the first day Will was unbeaten on 203.

The following morning the young right hander took his own score onto 243, which came off 260 balls with 30 fours and eight sixes, before he was last wicket to fall. Somerset ended their first innings on 377 off 94.2 overs.

Reflecting on his double century, Will said: “I have had a long break this summer and not been able to do a lot.

“My last game was probably in February and since then there has been a lot of hard work with the medical staff and the physio at the club. I have actually come back ahead of schedule which is testament to the work that those who helped me have done.”

Will explained what the exact nature of his injury was.

“I tore the cartilage on my right shoulder but I managed to still go away on the England Under 19 tour to Bangladesh in the winter and had the operation when I got back.”

How has it felt to be sidelined this summer?

“It hasn’t been the nicest of feelings watching everybody else out there on the pitch, but then that motivated me to get back as soon as I possibly could. Jamie Thorpe (SCCC Head of Science & Medicine) has really helped to get me through this injury. He has been great helping me through the process.

“I am now trying to make the most out of the rest of the season and play as many games as I can.

“I have also missed out on playing club cricket this year, which is a lot of fun and I really enjoyed last season.”

Will talked about how he felt when he first went out to bat on Tuesday.

“It felt just like normal and that I hadn’t been away from playing at all. Once I got myself in I decided that I was going to make the most of it and not give my wicket away. I wanted to bat for as long as possible, but in the end we were nine down and I decided to go for it which didn’t work!”

Will added: “I have still got one more year at school which is a big one for me so I will be trying to balance my cricket with my academic work throughout the coming winter.”

Academy director Steve Snell, who has worked with Will from the time he first joined the Academy, watched the innings and said: “I am delighted for Will because it has been a tough season for him, seeing his peers playing a lot of cricket and he has had to miss out on that.

“For him to come into his first game of the summer and make his highest ever score was just fantastic and that will give him a tremendous amount of pleasure given all of the hard work he has done to get here.

“Likewise a lot of us watching have really felt for him this season so to have that moment of just showing everybody how good he is, is superb really.

“In terms of the game and Somerset’s youth system this is probably Will’s first game with his own age group for a long time, and he has been dominating above his age group for a long time as well, so its good for the other guys in Under 17 cricket to see someone come in and dominate the game as he has done.

Steve added: “I think that this shows the level that Will is at but also it’s a good visual for the other guys playing in the game to see someone who has been playing in England Under 19 colours and has had success at Somerset Second XI level.”

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