Alex Barrow is thoroughly enjoying playing club cricket in New Zealand for Cornwall in Auckland, who are the current national club champions.
In his latest contact with the club website Alex said: “Cornwall is a great club in a lovely location (Cornwall Park in Auckland). The club has a great history and has produced a number of international players including Martin Crowe, who played for Somerset back in the 1980s. Currently we are in the top division of the two-day competition and going well in the one-day competition. However unfortunately we recently lost in the quarter-final of the T20 competition.
“I’ve been pretty happy with my cricket since I’ve arrived and in the two-day competition I’ve scored 44 and 89 in the two matches. I should have made that into a big 100, as I had a long time to bat on day on. However, I’m pleased with the way I’m going and I’m pleased that the changes I made after a bad start last year are feeling more and more natural and comfortable. My form in the T20 has been exciting for me. I’ve scored over 150 runs in four games averaging over 50 with a strike rate of over 140, which has been great for me, experimenting and finding new ways to play strong shots.
“Unfortunately I’ve had a bad back so haven’t been able to do much keeping. But after the two weeks rest at Christmas it’s settled down a bit so I’ve started to catch more balls now and am beginning to get going with things in the gym rather than spending that time on a Physio table or lying patiently on a bed with acupuncture needles in my back!”
What is his day to day schedule like at the moment? “During a typical week I have got plenty of cricket to be involved with which is great and why I am here,” he said. “The club trains on Tuesday and Thursday and we have T20 matches on Wednesday evening as well which has been good. Playing midweek games is nice because it breaks up training days. I also play on Saturdays and two out of three Sunday’s as well, so we have plenty of game time and with there being T20, 50 over and two-day competitions I get to practice all formats of the game.”
Alex has also taken a liking to the facilities. “The club has a good “bubble” with three nets,” he said. “Although it’s like training in a greenhouse in the middle of summer, it’s a great facility to go and train in. I have a couple of training partners who I’m netting with regularly. I’m also coaching which I really enjoy and doing one to ones as well as helping out the junior teams. The club has 1500 junior players which is probably the biggest in Australasia. I’m also helping run the summer holiday clinics, ranging from five year olds to 14/15 year olds. All of it has been good fun and I have met some really good people through that. It was great that a few of the New Zealand players came in to our clinic the other day to surprise the kids. Needless to say they loved it. They had a game of indoor cricket with them and photos and things afterwards.
Despite the fact that several Somerset players are currently based in different countries all over the world at the moment, they are all staying in touch as Alex explained: “Somerset players seem to be spread all over the place but we have got our Whatsapp group so you’re never far from a Trego joke and I’ve chatted to a few of the guys about their time away too. As usual for me, I’ve been in contact with Jamie our physio, and Daz (Darren Veness, Somerset Head of Strength & Conditioning) about my back and we have a structure and plan in place that should allow me to get some strength work in that doesn’t disrupt my back spasm and hopefully that will pass on now.
“As always the season comes around pretty quickly. It will be nice coming into pre-season having spent three months playing over here but for now my focus is on scoring more runs at Cornwall and developing my skills as a player and as a coach plus other aspects that I’m trying to develop.”