Liam Norwell believes his heroic end to 2022 has given him plenty of confidence in his body.
On the back of a season plagued by injury misfortunes, including a horrible blow to the head from a lifting delivery while batting, Norwell stood up when counted.
Needing to take ten wickets in two sessions to avoid relegation, the seamer closed the door on Hampshire after Olly Hannon-Dalby picked up the first scalp.
Without a meaningful delivery bowled in competitive cricket for months, ‘Pasty’ finished with the 12th-best bowling analysis for Warwickshire in first class cricket.
18.5-3-62-9. It was a sight to behold.
“I’ve always backed my ability, but I didn’t think I’d be taking a nine wickets,” said Norwell, who was speaking during the Club’s pre-season tour to Cape Town. “To keep coming back, mentally more than anything, and just keep telling myself it’s going to be okay and things will work out.
“I feel that’s a massive tick for myself and I think the rewards of all the hard yards I put in on or off the pitch kind of came in that last game.
“I want to play a lot more cricket than I did last year and I want to be on the pitch more for the lads, but I’m glad I managed to put a meaningful contribution in at the end of the season when it really mattered. When you put in a performance like that, I think it’s not just for wickets, it’s just for confidence in my body.
“I know I can go from no cricket with a tear in my elbow to be able to still do it. I think it’s more of the confidence in my body it gave me. I’m hoping that I can just carry on into the season.”
The 31-year-old has therefore tweaked his winter programme. Having missed a lot of cricket last year, it would be excusable to see the former Gloucestershire product in the Edgbaston Cricket Centre nearly every day.
But the right-armer has chosen a different approach. One, which he hopes, will benefit this year.
“My big goal is just to play as much cricket as possible,” added Norwell. “I was pretty fortunate in 2021 where I barely missed a game so this year I’m trying to repeat that.
“The winter’s been good and I decided to take a different approach. I did no cricket pre-Christmas, which is a bit different for me, as I think we’ve kind of come to realise that I tend to maybe overtrain and overwork and that might contribute to some of the injuries and periods I’ve had out the game.
“I made quite a conscious effort this winter to do my fitness stuff, pre-Christmas, but no cricket. I just spent some time with family and put the hard yards in with the lads at the ground.
“Post-Christmas has just been ramping up my cricket skills and get volume in the bowling. I’ve really enjoyed it and I thought that with less cricket I might struggle a little bit, but I haven’t.
“I feel fit, strong, and my game is in quite a good place at the moment.”
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