Ryan Sidebottom admits he is “very excited” by the prospects of what might lie ahead in his first full season in county cricket.
But as he settles into pre-season with Warwickshire he can be pretty sure this summer won’t include a repeat of one experience he encountered back in Victoria during the English winter: Heat stopped play.
We had a couple of games heated off. There is a regulation which says play has to stop when the temperature hits 42 degrees, which is fair enough as it gets pretty uncomfortable.Ryan Sidebottom
“We had a couple of games heated off,” said Sidebottom. “There is a regulation which says play has to stop when the temperature hits 42 degrees, which is fair enough as it gets pretty uncomfortable. It’s usually pretty warm back home of course, but it was unusually hot this year.”
Sidebottom is unlikely to be heated off with the Bears this year – snowed off is more likely. But for the 28-year-old seamer, who broke into Warwickshire’s first team last year after impressing with Berkswell in the Birmingham League, next season is something of an unknown quantity – and he likes that idea.
Now I just want to play as much first-team cricket as I can next season in the championship and also hopefully in the two white-ball comps, if I can.Ryan Sidebottom
“It will be my first full season and we’ll have to see how it goes and I find that very exciting,” he said. “I’ve had a really good winter. It was great to catch up with family back home and spend some time with my nephews and nieces. For the first four-to-six weeks after I got back I rested up and gave my feet a chance to recover. Then it was back to bowling and I played about eight games for Northerners.
“Now I feel in good nick and ready to go and it’s been great to join back up with the Bears. I was in the first practice session in the marquee and as a bowler it was really good to be able to steam in on grass rather than slamming the pavement.
“I’ve had my first chats with Graeme Welch and am really looking forward to working with him as bowling coach. The other guys have nothing but good things to say about him.”
In his first half-season with Warwickshire, last season, Sidebotttom impressed enough to earn a contract for 2018. In six championship games, he took 23 wickets at 22.17 apiece, an excellent effort in a struggling team and a welcome bright spot in a bleak season for the Bears.
“I was pleased with the way it went for me,” he said. “Now I just want to play as much first-team cricket as I can next season in the championship and also hopefully in the two white-ball comps, if I can.
“But the club has a lot of options with some really good experienced bowlers and also younger guys like Aaron Thomason and Henry Brookes coming through, so if we all stay fit there will be fierce competition to get in the team.”