Craig Overton is part of the England Lions squad that is currently on the way to Sri Lanka.
The Lions will be involved in two four-day matches and a five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka A and Craig couldn’t wait to board the ‘plane when we spoke to him on Friday. “It will be really good,” he said. “It’ll be a long trip but also a good one and it’ll be against some really good opposition. A lot of their players will have played for Sri Lanka so it’s going to be tough but good fun.”
Craig has been included in both squads whilst Somerset teammate Jack Leach has been included in the four-day squad about which he said: “It’s great to be in both the one-day and four-day squad. The first few weeks is going to be all about the red ball, so I’ve been getting prepared for that here in Taunton. Hopefully I can do well in that and then take some good form in to the white ball stuff. It’ll be great to have Leachy with us. It was a tough winter for him but he’s handled it brilliantly. He can just crack on now and concentrate on his cricket.”
The 22 year old is straining at the leash to get some grass under his feet. “It will be good to get out on the grass,” he said. “I had a bit of that in Dubai and I can’t wait to get out there. There’s no substitute for bowling on grass. Bowling indoors is completely different so it’s really nice to be able to go outside and get used to bowling on grass again. I’ve been doing quite a bit of gym stuff here but obviously when we get out to Sri Lanka we’ll be focusing more on the cricket side of things. The last few weeks have been pretty tough here but it’s been good to get in the gym and get strong again.”
It’s not just his bowling that he’s concentrating on though as he explained. “Batting is something that I’ve been working on and I want to score a few more runs,” he said. “It was great to get a hundred last year and I want to get a few more. It was a big relief to get that hundred. I’d been really close a couple of times so it was good to finally get there!”
What are Craig’s goals on this tour? “Hopefully I’ll be selected for the four-day games,” he said. “If that happens and I do well in those then we’ll see what happens with the one-dayers. I’m not looking too far in to the future. I’m concentrating on what I’m doing now in order to perform the best I can.”
The Lions begin their tour with a three-day warm up match on February 12th and this will be followed by two four-day matches against Sri Lanka A beginning on the 17th and the 24th.
The five-match one-day series will begin on March 2nd.