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First team coach Mark Robinson is delighted to have Dan Mousley back in the mix this year after the young batter's 2021 season was wrecked by injury.

Two broken fingers, sustained in separate fielding mishaps two months apart, restricted the 20-year-old to just four 50-over games and six T20s last year when he was set to challenge for a regular first-team place across the formats.

It was a frustrating season for the home-grown player, but Robinson expects Mousley to come back strong in 2022 after a good winter’s work which included a valuable month playing domestic white-ball cricket in Sri Lanka.  

“It will be great to have Dan back after he missed so much of last season,” the coach said. “He had a great learning experience in Sri Lanka and ended with a hundred in the last game. That was a nice way to finish with the bat and he did a lot of bowling out there which was great for his development. Both he and Rob Yates bowled well last year and I think they both have a lot more in the tank in terms of their spin bowling.

“Dan had a great month in Sri Lanka. I had a long chat with them when he came back and think it was a great trip for him not just in terms of his cricket but also as a human being. He had to fend for himself in a foreign country where English isn’t the first language. Hats off to him, he had a brilliant time, was looked after well and made some great mates.”

Mark Robinson

Mousley’s mission now is to force himself back into the Bears first team picture. That will be a tough ask as the players that lifted the championship will be determined not to relinquish their places despite competition from the likes of Mousley, new signing Alex Davies and fit-again Olly Hannon-Dalby.

“Dan will be battling for a first-team spot this year and, along with Alex Davies, we will have real competition at the top of the order,” said Robinson. “It could be tough picking the team but, as a coach, you always say to players ‘take it out of the selectors’ hands’. Put in those performances which mean you have to be picked.”

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