The England VI team are currently in Australia for their series against the old enemy.
The series which got underway this week is being staged in Adelaide over 10 days and comprises five 40-over matches and three Twenty20s.
One of the key members of the England squad is Somerset’s Ed Hossell and we caught up with him for a quick chat before he jetted off to the Southern Hemisphere
You’ve become something of a regular in the England squad now. Are you still surprised when the squad is announced and your name is in it?
Yes, it’s always exciting to be in the England squad and it’s great to see that my commitment and effort is worth it.
VI cricket seems to become more popular. Would you agree with that statement?
Yes, definitely. The media coverage is great leading up to and during a series and the support is always growing.
Has the game changed much since you began playing?
It’s definitely become more professional. The support that Ross Hunter, our head coach, has brought in is fantastic. It’s allowed us to have a much more professional attitude not only to our cricket but also to what we eat and how we train away from squad weekends. We have a Physio, strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist and a sports physiologist who all help us to be as prepared as possible for game day.
This tour is essentially the VI Ashes. How excited are you to be taking on the old enemy in their back yard?
We are all hugely excited and honoured to be involved in an ashes series. The rivalry is definitely strong in VI cricket.
Who are the players that will be making the headlines in this tournament?
I think a great strength of our squad is that we are not relying on just one or two people to score all the runs and take all the wickets. Having said that, the experience and skill of some of ours players almost guarantees them making big runs. Luke Sugg (T20 captain) and Matt Dean (ODI captain) will be ones to watch out for along with the talent of Justin Hollingsworth.
Your brother Rory plays the sport as well. Is there a friendly rivaly there and do you help push each other to become better?
With Rory being involved it’s great fun. We definitely help each other improve especially when he does well. I always claim to have taught him everything he knows!
The squad is rather different to the one that took on India isn’t it? How have the new guys settled in?
We have a few returning players, so naturally they fit in very well and the new guys are a great addition to the squad.
Are you the type of player who sets himself goals ahead of a series? Do you want to have taken a certain number of wickets and scored a certain number of runs by the end of a series or do you just take each game as it comes?
For me personally, the only goal I’ve set myself for the Ashes is to have a match altering performance. Whether it be with bat, ball or in the field, all I want to do is help the team win games.
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date both Internationally and at Club level?
The proudest moment of my international career so far was probably being part of a team that bowled India out and the only country other than Pakistan to do so, but who knows, maybe in a few weeks it could be being an ashes winner! Domestically it’s probably winning the T20 cup in 2014 and being nominated player of the day at finals day.
How did things go for you and Somerset last year?
Last year at Somerset I think it’s safe to say that we were disappointed with a few of the results and knew that we could do better. So over the winter we have been having some cracking training sessions where there is real commitment to improve from all players.
What are your hopes from a playing point of view in 2016?
In 2016 my hopes internationally are definitely to keep improving, hopefully becoming an ashes winner and then to prepare for the T20 World Cup at the end of 2016
The series with Australia features ODI’s and T20′s. Do you approach the different formats of the game in a different way?
In terms of approach I don’t think it changes a whole lot. I try and be aggressive with my bowling and adapt to the game situation. Maybe in T20’s a little more variation is required when bowling.
How different is the International game compared to Club level?
There definitely is a step up for international cricket as is to be expected. The backing of the ECB in the international game has allowed us to improve as a squad at an exponential level.
How did you get involved in VI cricket?
I first got involved about 3 and a half years ago when my mum found a rather ironically small flyer advertising Somerset VI training sessions. I went along to one and the rest is history!
The remaining fixtures in the series are as follows:
- 26 January 2016: Australia VI v England VI (ODI), Park 25, Adelaide
- 27 January 2016: Australia VI v England VI (ODI), Park 25, Adelaide
- 29 January 2016: Australia VI v England VI (ODI), Park 25, Adelaide
- 30 January 2016: Australia VI v England VI (T20), Park 25, Adelaide
- 31 January 2016: Australia VI v England VI (T20), Park 25, Adelaide