Sam Hain is looking forward to three unexpected weeks of sunshine and learning as he joins up with Bears team-mate Jake Lintott in the Fortune Barishal squad in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Bears batter Hain arrived in Bangladesh today, ready to compete for a place in the Barishal squad for their remaining seven games in the BPL group campaign. They have won one of three games so far and next face Khulna Tigers in Chattogram tomorrow.
Hain has travelled east with two objectives: to do his best to help Fortune Barishal through to the tournament final on February 18; and, on a personal level, to learn all he can to return to the Bears a better player, particularly against spin which is the dominant force in the subcontinent.
Hain’s first stint in the BPL, with Rangpur Riders two years ago, saw him remain a squad member without playing a match. This time, he hopes to make his tournament bow but is sure that he will benefit from the trip whether or not that happens.
“Hopefully this will be a little bit different to my first time in the BPL, though even though I didn’t play a game out there, I still hit a lot of balls and learned a lot,” he said.
“These trips are what you make of them. I know there is a chance that I won’t play but, even if I don’t, I will still face a lot of spin and chat to some of the players there, so it will be valuable even if it means I improve my game against spin just one or two per cent.
“It is all experience worth having and will only help me become a better player for the Bears next season.
“Hopefully I will play a few games and do well because these tournaments are a great shop window. I still really want to play for England, and hopefully that will happen, but right now it’s a question of how can I improve and, at this moment, that is through franchise cricket. Opportunities do not come your way easily around the world so you have to take them when they do and give it your best shot, so I am really excited and grateful to have this one.”
Hain flew out yesterday, just six days after receiving the message that was to offer him a welcome pass out of the cold, grey West Midlands winter.
“I’ve got no problem with working hard all winter in the indoor centre at Edgbaston – that’s our job,” he said. “But it can be a long winter with the cold and the dark mornings, so this is a nice chance to get.
“I was hitting some balls in the indoor centre last Friday when I received a text asking me if I might be interested in a spot with the Barishal squad. I didn’t hesitate!
“It was such short notice the biggest challenge was trying to get some kit together because winters are always a bit bare in that respect, but I’ve got there and am really looking forward to it.”
T20 Quarter-Final: Tickets only £10
Birmingham Bears will host Hampshire Hawks at Edgbaston on Thursday 7 July (6.30pn) in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals.
Adult tickets are available from £10, when you buy in advance of the day of the match. Under 12s go FREE and 12 to 15-year-olds are £1. Members and Season Pass holders go FREE.