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Will looking forward to PSL challenge

Will Smeed’s rapid rise to prominence shows no signs of abating.

The 20-year-old made his Somerset debut in 2020, signed his first professional contract a few months later and went on to become a vital component of Somerset’s Vitality Blast side in 2021.

This winter has already seen him involved in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition for Bangla Tigers, and now he is heading to the Pakistan Super League after he was selected by Quetta Gladiators.

We caught up with the young batter ahead of his departure to discuss his busy winter.

“The T10 was really good fun and a great experience,” he said. “It was my first taste of overseas franchise cricket and there were a lot of good players out there. It was great to see how all of those guys went about their work and I certainly learned a lot. T10 is a hectic format, and it was really interesting to see the methods that they used to stay calm and stick to their game plans.”

Does Will feel that his game has benefitted from the experience?

“Definitely. I went out there with an open mindset and was determined to make the most of the training and match opportunities that came my way. Working with different coaches who cast fresh eyes over you and offer different nuggets of advice for you to take on board can only help to develop your game.”

Will is also looking to make the most of his latest opportunity.

“I’ve been quite fortunate and a few of these opportunities have popped up,” he explained. “I’m going to try and take as many as I can in order to make the most of it. The PSL is a very prestigious tournament and there will be a lot of top players over there. It’s another great chance for me to learn and develop. If I get to play, I can hopefully put in some good performances. The last two years have been crazy, and I just want to keep on developing.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to who has been involved in the PSL has only had good things to say about it. Lewis and Marchant will also be over there, so it’ll be good to spend some time with people that I know already.”

Ahead of his latest trip overseas, Will has been hard at work at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

“I’ve been training hard for the last few weeks and working a lot on my red-ball game,” he explained. “At the moment I have a far better understanding of what T20 cricket looks like compared to red-ball cricket, so the quicker I can develop that understanding the better.

“There have been a lot of the lads around at training and there’s a great vibe around the squad at the moment. Everyone is working really hard and making a lot of progress. That’s really exciting for the summer.

“I’ll be taking every chance that I get to continue the work I’ve been doing in the indoor school whilst I’m out in Pakistan. I’m going to take every game as it comes and do the best that I can in every game that I play in. I want to make the most of every opportunity that I’m given.”

Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr added: “We’re delighted for Will. The PSL is regarded to be one of the toughest T20 competitions around the globe. There will be some of the world’s most talented cricketers playing out there and hopefully Will will get the opportunity to showcase his skills. The fact that he has been called up to replace one of the best white-ball players in the world is exciting and is a testament to the growth that he’s shown.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen the benefits of our players appearing in these global tournaments and we are confident that Will can come back having improved on what was an impressive campaign for him last year.

“He’s always had a very mature head on his shoulders and it’s important to remember that he’s always been prolific in all forms of cricket that he’s played throughout the age groups. We know that he’s incredibly talented and he’s taken to white-ball cricket like a duck to water. The way that he’s approached this winter and been working on developing his red-ball game has been impressive. He’s shown a real hunger and desire to improve that facet of his game.”

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