Josh Poysden intends to carry on his impressive year and make the most of his opportunity to join up with the England Lions squad early this winter.
Warwickshire leg-spinner Poysden has made good progress during 2016. He harvested his maiden first-class five-for in the Specsavers County Championship (five for 53 against Middlesex at Edgbaston) and played an important role in the Bears’ Royal London Cup triumph with important spells particularly in the quarter and semi-finals.
Now the 25-year-old has a great chance to show his skills in the national set-up. While not selected for the Lions squad itself, he has been invited to spend five weeks with the squad in Dubai from mid-November as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s newly-restructured international pathway programme.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to it,” Poysden said. “I always think that to improve you have to work with the best and bowl at the best and that’s what I will be doing.
“The facilities in Dubai are fantastic and I’ll be working with some great coaches and bowling at some of the best batsmen in England.
“It’s been a decent year for me and it was great to get my maiden first-class five-for and play some first-team white-ball cricket, but I know I still need to get a lot better. This time in the UAE will really help me, both in terms of my bowling and also my batting which I want to do a lot of work on.”
Poysden played five championship matches for the Bears in 2016, taking 15 wickets at 21.51 apiece, and also figured in 12 white-ball games. An intelligent bowler with a good temperament, he clearly has the potential to one-day succeed Jeetan Patel as the leader of the Bears’ spin attack.
But Poysden knows that he has to keep improving if he is to fulfil that role – and also force his way above the stiff competition currently around the counties in the emerging-spinners department.
“I have spent the last three winters playing club cricket in Australia so this winter will be different,” he said. “But the time in Dubai will be a great chance for me to spend some serious time on my game and bowl a lot of overs in a really good environment.”