Sam Hain’s busy winter continues as he prepares for another England Lions experience.

Having spent the winter with Brisbane Heat, Sam is now in Sri Lanka fine-tuning his game ahead of three ODIs, with the first starting on Wednesday (10am BST).

The 27-year-old played a key role in Heat’s success, winning seven out of nine matches, as well as reaching the Big Bash final.

Although the Gold Coast side fell agonisingly short, the exposure and opportunity to return home and play on a big stage have given him plenty of encouragement ahead of a big summer.

“I loved my time in Brisbane and I appreciate the support and messages I’ve received,” said Hain. “To play in front of my parents once again is a memory that will stay with me for a long time and I hope I did them proud.

“It was disappointing to lose in the final, but on reflection, there are always positives to take. I’m a winner, and never like to lose, but the opportunity to play in front of 55,000 people is something I will certainly learn from.

“The team went on a great run, and the energy within the squad was great. I have said this before, but it certainly felt like the run we went on in 2014. When you’re winning matches with a great group of lads it’s a feeling that is hard to beat.”

Sam returns to the Lions fold on the back of a strong white ball summer with the Bears.

The right-hander fired his first T20 century amongst 425 runs, as the Bears finished top of the North Group.

With an opportunity in The Hundred, Sam wasn’t available for the One Day Cup, although his strong reputation in 50-over cricket remains around the world.

The middle-order batter, who rocks a staggering 58.54 average in 59 matches, will be looking to add to his three centuries with the national side.

“Overall, I feel my cricket is in a good place as I scored a couple of match-winning knocks with the Heat and that will always give you confidence,” added Hain. “The conditions in Sri Lanka will be slightly different, but we’ve prepared well and we’re looking forward to the tough challenge.

“Playing for the Lions is a fantastic opportunity because it feels like you’re one step closer to that senior call-up. My stats in 50-over cricket are pleasing and hopefully, with some strong performances, I can push my way into the squad.”

Another Bear involved with the Lions is Jacob Bethell.

Similar to Hain, Jacob has endured a hectic cricket schedule in Australia, playing grade cricket with Sydney CC and Test matches against Australia U19s.

“Jacob hit a century in his last match, so he’s clearly in good nick,” Hain concluded. “It’s always great to be in an England camp with Jacob and I’m sure as one of the youngsters he’ll be looking to make an impression.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Jacob and he’s a player with huge potential. Hopefully, we can score runs here and continue our form for the Bears this summer.”

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