New Somerset Captain Tom Abell is heading back to Australia today.
The 22 year old is returning to play Grade A cricket for Fremantle after spending the festive period with his family.
“I had a great Christmas,” he said. “It’s always nice to be home and I had a really nice time with the family. It’s back to work now though. I’m flying back to Perth today and really looking forward to getting back in to it. There’s games starting this weekend and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season over there. Fremantle are going pretty well so far this season. Hopefully we can back that up after Christmas and push for some finals.”
Whilst at Fremantle in the first part of the close season Tom had been enjoying himself with the ball as well as the bat as he explained. “It’s nice to be able to have that opportunity to work on my bowling in the close season but hopefully we won’t be needing to call on it during the summer!”
Tom believes that playing overseas during the winter months has been a real benefit to him. “I think that going away for the winter and getting some game time in is a real bonus,” he said. “When I came back from my stint in Perth at the beginning of last summer I felt in a really good place and I felt it enabled me to hit the ground running. I didn’t capitalise on that as much as I would have liked to early on in the season, but I think it gives me the best opportunity to score runs. I feel like my batting is really coming on over there plus I’m always working on my fielding. It’s a great environment to be around and I definitely think that it is having a positive effect on my game.”
“In terms of preparation for what the summer is going to hold, I couldn’t ask for too much more. As a life experience it’s a great thing to do. You have to fend for yourself out there and you grow up a lot as a player and a person. I definitely feel more mature as a player for spending a couple of winters in Australia. I love it over there. It’s my second season with the Club and it’s a great place to be during the off season.
“I’m getting all my training done as well as playing, so I’m not missing out on anything like that. I couldn’t ask for too much more to be honest. It’s very competitive out there and everyone is very serious. The standard is very high too. You’re playing a very serious level of cricket every weekend. You are certainly put under pressure, that’s for sure!”
Is Tom looking forward to returning to England for pre-season training once his spell in Perth is over? “It’s not always too much fun playing in the snow when you can’t feel your fingers but I can’t wait for it to all start again,” he said. “From a batting point of view I’ll be looking to get all my preparation work done first and foremost then I’ll have a few more things to deal with as Captain but I just can’t wait to get cracking really. I’m really looking forward to pre-season and getting back in to it.”
Tom also had a message for the Somerset Members and supporters. “As a team we’re desperate to replicate some of the form that we showed towards the back end of last season,” he said. “The support we get throughout the season is always superb and to see what it meant to the supporters at the end of last season was very special and that will stick with me for a very long time. Hopefully we can go one better this year and repay the faith that they show in us.”