The summer of 2017 is going to be a pretty busy time for Somerset batsman James Hildreth because, in addition to being awarded a Testimonial by the Club, the 32 year old and his wife Aimee are expecting their second child in April.
If that wasn’t enough Hildy is also in his final year of working towards his ECB Level Four Coaching Award.
“Its going to be a pretty busy time for us this year,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it all though. I enjoy the coaching very much and working alongside young players and watching them develop. I’ve loved working with the young batters on the Academy at Somerset and seeing them go on to achieve their dream of playing professionally.”
Regarding his Testimonial Year he said: “I don’t think of myself as being old, so it still feels a bit strange to think that I’ve been given a Testimonial, but I guess I’ve been at Somerset for a long time. Those 14 years have just flown by!
“We had our launch event a couple of weeks ago but on April 18th we will be holding our Grand Opening Lunch at the Cooper Associates County Ground. A lot of the players will be present at this event so we are hoping that as many people as possible come along and join us for a three course lunch and really kick start the season.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of good wishes I’ve had since the announcement was made. So many people have told me how much I deserve it, which I really do appreciate. It means so much to me when people say that. As far as I’m concerned it has made it a really successful year already.
“Although I wasn’t born in Somerset, I first came to the county when I was 10 years old so I have spent the majority of my life here. My whole cricketing life has been spent playing for Somerset, so I do feel very much that this is where I belong.”
Looking ahead to the new season James said: “I’m excited at the prospect of the coming season and it’s great that Tom Abell has been appointed captain. In addition to that we’ve got all of our younger players who have now grown up and are able to make consistent contributions to us winning games.”
Regarding new signing Steve Davies, James said: “Steve is a great signing for us. He is a brilliant player and his stats speak for themselves. I played England Under 19s with him and also went on Lions tours with him and he will have a massive impact in the middle order for us in four-day cricket. He’s a great gloveman as well.”