Twelve cricketers from Warwickshire’s academy and Under 19s squad will soon head to Barbados for a ten-day stay designed to take them “right out of their comfort zone.”
The trip, between February 15 and 25, will include three 50-over matches against testing local opposition – the University of West Indies, Barbados Under 19s and a Barbados Combined School XI.
We want to take the lads right out of their comfort zone. In the last two years the academy pre-season trip has been to Sri Lanka. This year will be different again with plenty of offensive-minded batsmen in the opposition but also some fast bowler.Paul Greetham
Alongside those games the young Bears will tackle some serious training and fitness work in a schedule drawn up to expand their experience on and off the cricket field.
“The boys will play three games against challenging opponents in conditions quite alien to them,” said Warwickshire elite cricket development manager Paul Greetham. “That will be a great test for them but also away from the matches they are be in for some hard work.
“We have eight full days out there and alongside the three games they will have four training sessions, practicing in grass nets, and also some tough fitness sessions, some of them in the Caribbean sun. They will come back feeling the benefit, but tired!
“We want to take the lads out of their comfort zone. In the last two years the academy pre-season trip has been to Sri Lanka which was a good test with batsmen coming hard at you and a lot of spin bowling. This will be (potentially) different again with still plenty of offensive-minded batsmen in the opposition but also teams that are more seam-bowling reliant.”
Greetham will supervise the trip along with development coaches Kadeer Ali and Mo Sheikh and first-team seamer Olly Hannon-Dalby.
At 28, Hannon-Dalby still has plenty of cricket left in him but, already a Level Three coach, also has skills in that direction which the Bears are keen to exploit.
“Olly has been working with the lads in the Emerging Players Programme for three years,” Greetham said.
“He will play in all the games in Barbados so will get some valuable overs under his belt, but he has a lot of coaching skills, a brilliant personality and will be a great role model for the lads on and off the field.”