Liam Norwell's excellent 2021 season for Warwickshire earned him a call up for the Lions group currently shadowing England's squad as they prepare for the Ashes in Australia. Here, Liam reports in from down under for the Bears fans.

Hello everyone. I hope all the Bears fans are keeping safe and well and warm – I hear there has been some snow back home!

No snow over here, just rain…and lots of it. We came out of quarantine, got in about 30 overs of a warm-up game and then spent the rest of the week indoors. Not ideal but, as an experience, this whole trip is brilliant for me, a great opportunity for me to learn and get better.

All the first team and Lions players have been really welcoming and everyone is just here to help each out. Everyone in the Lions squad is here to get better and everyone in the senior squad is here to win the Ashes.

The Lions bowling group trained with the Ashes squad quite a bit in the early weeks out here, which was great, and whenever I get the chance to bowl at the Ashes squad I just try to put my hand up and show why I’m here. More recently we have separated a bit more because they are really starting to focus on the Ashes. We were the “opposition” in the first warm up game which was unfortunately spoiled by the weather but we have another one starting on Tuesday so hopefully we will get a good few days and I will get another crack.

It’s really interesting trying to adapt to Australian conditions where your length just need to be a fraction shorter. A typical English length can be a bit easier to play out here so it’s a matter of trying to drag your length back a bit but still having that intent with the ball and hitting the pitch hard. We are also bowling against the best players England have, so the margin for error is very small. You have to hit the right area consistently or get punished.

It is such a great opportunity to show what I can do against the best players in English cricket, but also in other ways. Everything you do, whether it’s training, practice, how you conduct yourself in the gym  and around the facilities, it’s a question of showing what you can do and who you are and that you might be able to operate at the top level.

It’s just a continuation of an amazing year for me. I joined Warwickshire to win trophies and prove myself on better pitches. That happened this fantastic year and I took some wickets and now this trip has come as the icing on the cake. This wasn’t on my radar for this year…my target was to stay fit and help Warwickshire win games, so this is a lovely bonus.

Then I am really looking forward to a few weeks with my family over Christmas and New Year.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.


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