Whilst the Edgbaston turf received its make over from Gary Barwell and his hard-working staff, the home dressing room remained silent.
The buzz and jubilation of Warwickshire’s dramatic final day victory over Hampshire has all but gone. The lockers are empty. The only sound to be heard was Keith Cook’s keyboard tapping away in his office overlooking the viewing area.
For most in the squad, winter or pre-Christmas is a time of reflection with limited cricket activity. One to one sessions are available to those looking to make a head start, but the general consensus is winter testing as a group, then sessions led by Strength and Conditioning Lead Coach Jack Murfin and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Rebecca MacLaren.
This year, however, things will look slightly different in terms of personnel. With Covid disrupting fixtures and opportunities over the past few years, the younger members of the squad have been encouraged to play abroad to hone their skills in different conditions and environments.
The experienced players meanwhile have a watchful eye on the many drafts taking place for white ball franchise leagues.
But today things are different. It almost feels like Christmas.
The players have returned and will take part in meetings and reviews over the next couple of days. The ‘content day’ or fitness testing as it’s known outside the comms team takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.
“I feel I’ve lost quite a lot game time over the past few years and this is the perfect way to work on my game,” Dan Mousley said. “I’ve been fortunate to have played in Sri Lanka and experience different conditions with the England Under-19s, so going to Australia will be a great challenge.
“The first grade leagues over there are incredibly tough and as an English pro there will be a lot of pressure to produce as well as a fair bit of banter. Hopefully, I can come back to Edgbaston next year as a better player as I plan to spend quite a lot of time of working on my game.”
Jacob Bethell, Ethan Brookes, George Garrett, Dan Mousley and Rob Yates have all travelled down under and will experience a full summer programme of first grade cricket, whilst Chris Benjamin is in South Africa.
New signings Ed Barnard and Chris Rushworth will head to Edgbaston this week, although the former plan s to head to Adelaide after Christmas.
Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, who are currently on national duty, will have England commitments as well as a stint in the UAE. They will be joined by Benjamin and Danny Briggs in the International League T20. Mo will also play in the T10 Abu Dhabi league for the Morrisville Samp Army.
In the WBBL, Amy Jones continues to play for the Sydney Thunder, whilst Eve Jones has completed her stint with the Melbourne Renegades.
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