Jamie Overton is flying out to South Africa tomorrow (Thursday).
The 22 year old is part of the England Cricket Pace Programme that will be conducting a two week training camp at the High Performance Institute for Sport at Potchefstroom.
Ahead of the trip Jamie said: “I’m really looking forward to bowling outside because bowling indoors just isn’t the same. Unfortunately in the winter in England there isn’t much else you can do so to be able to get outdoors at this time of the year is great. There’s a good group going over there with Mark Wood probably being the most well known and I’m delighted to be involved.”
“I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Kevin Shine (former Somerset Head Coach and now ECB Lead Bowling Coach) and Mark Wood. Hopefully I’ll be able to gain a little more knowledge and then use that in the summer.”
Jamie is now back in full training after recovering from a stress fracture in his back and he is raring to go. “The back’s all healed now,” he said. “I’ve not been feeling any pain or discomfort at all and the rehab has all gone really smoothly. I was out for quite a long time and it was really frustrating. It’s just one of those things though. Most fast bowlers pick up injuries here and there but now I’m back and I just can’t wait for the summer. I’ll be increasing my workload whilst I’m out there and the ECB have been in regular contact with the staff here at Somerset so they know exactly what I’ve been doing and what I can do.”
Jamie isn’t the only Somerset player currently involved in the England Pathway. His twin brother Craig and Jack Leach will be heading to Sri Lanka with the England Lions next month and Jamie believes that this highlights the quality of the young players in the Somerset squad. “There’s a lot of young talent coming through here at the moment,” he said. “It’s not just the three of us. There’s Lewis Gregory, Dom Bess and Tom Abell to name just a few and they’re all outstanding talents. If we can all stay together and perform like we did last year then you never know what could happen. Lets just say that things are looking pretty promising down here at the moment.”
Jamie also feels that the fact that the majority of the squad are playing overseas this winter will be of huge benefit when the 2017 season finally comes around. “I think it’s massively important that the players are getting out on the grass over the winter,” he said. “The only way that you are going to learn and improve is by playing. You can get some benefits from bowling in the nets but the way you learn the most is by playing games and finding yourself in different game situations.”
Somerset came withing a whisker of picking up some silverware in 2016 and Jamie is desperate for the Club to go one better this year. “The way last season ended wasn’t exactly ideal for us but it’s just made us more hungry,” he said. “We all know what we want to achieve and that’s to get our hands on a trophy. We want to perform in all formats but it would be great to win that first ever Championship.”
The fast bowler is also looking forward to playing under the captaincy of Tom Abell: “Tom is a top player and he wears his heart on his sleeve every time that he walks out on to the pitch. Everybody wants to play for him because he is that sort of person. It’s going to be a really exciting year with Chris Rogers coming back as well. He will be able to help reinforce the foundations that we put in place last year and I’m confident that we’ll have a good season. We’ve got a really strong squad this year, possibly the strongest since I’ve been here and there will be a lot of competition for places. That can only be a good thing and hopefully it can drive us on to that elusive title.”