Alex Barrow has just returned from New Zealand where he has been since late November after enjoying a successful time playing cricket for Cornwall CC in Auckland.
During his stay the 23 year old played 12 games in total for the club in which he hit 423 runs, including three half centuries with a best of 89, and ended with an average of 35.25.
Alex played in four T20 matches in which he scored 157 runs with a best of 56 and ended with an average of 52.3. He also took part in four two-day games in which he hit 180 runs with a best of 89 to end with an average of 36. There were also four limited over matches where he scored 86 runs with a best of 41 to end with an average of 21.5.
Back at a wet and cold Cooper Associates County Ground this week, he reflected on his time out in New Zealand. “I have had a really good time,” he said. “It was nice to get away and still be playing cricket, but its also nice to be able to come back and say I have had a really positive experience.
“This is the second time I have been away playing cricket overseas. The first time I came back injured after a couple of months so it wasn’t a great trip and I didn’t look at it positively. However this time I have had a really good time, met some nice people, trained hard, lived with a lovely family and got to see their country as well, so it was a good experience for me. It was my first time in New Zealand and I don’t think it will be my last either!”
Talking about his cricket while he was away ‘Baz’ said: “I got a few runs and played some cricket I was really pleased with. T20 went well for me. It’s a format I haven’t played for Somerset yet and something I’m striving for, so my performances in that really pleased me. Playing in the two-day Championship matches was good because I was able to bat for a long time on a Saturday in a slightly different format and work out how to win those games. It’s very different to the normal club 50 over cricket which was really good and I liked the longer game.
“I thought that their two-day games were a great training ground for First Class cricket and something we don’t have in England. On several occasions teams declared before the end of their 98 overs and put the other side in and as a top order batsman you have to face a handful of tough overs, which I found a really good challenge and one that I enjoyed. It was great playing with a good team who were very talented with a lot of good young players. It was good to be able to pass on some of my experience and help them, so I look back at it really positively.”
Talking about the next few weeks Alex said: “It’s not that long until we go to Desert Springs with the Somerset squad. I’ll get back into training next week and hit that hard and then the summer will come round quickly after that. Over the next couple of weeks lots of the lads who are overseas will be coming back and then we will be ready to go to Desert Springs in about three weeks time.”
What is he looking forward to this season? “Like all cricketers I am looking forward to the start of the new season,” he said. “When the winter training is finished and the playing starts hopefully Somerset can start better than we did last season when we put ourselves behind the eight-ball very quickly. We put ourselves under a lot of pressure, which didn’t really relent until the penultimate game. Hopefully we can be winning games and challenging in County Championship cricket and be progressing in the white ball stuff.
“Signing Chris Gayle again is really exciting but this year we are going to have to support him better and ensure his efforts result in us winning games so we can reach the knock out stages and get a quarter final here at Taunton. That’s the goal this year but we have to start well in all the competitions for that to happen and play consistently throughout which is a lot easier said than done, but is possible with the group of players we have got at the club.”
And what does Baz want from the 2016 season? “I want to be Somerset’s first choice ‘keeper and playing in all forms of the game,” he said. “I want to be helping us win games and contributing with the bat and with the gloves. That is always my goal, to win games for Somerset.”
He added: “I really enjoy playing for the County. It’s something I have done since I was eight years old. It’s a special feeling going out there to represent Somerset and I am looking forward to doing it again in 2016.”