Rob Yates can't wait to showcase his talents with England Lions after heading down under with the squad.
Yates – who is part of a strong 14-man group – will be hoping to make a mark after being selected for his country for the first time.
The 22-year-old had an incredible year at the top of the order for the Bears scoring five centuries, with the final two coming in the County Championship securing victory over Somerset and the Bob Willis Trophy win at Lord’s.
His performances were widely recognised at the club’s champions dinner as Yates took the men’s Young Player of the Year, Members’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the year.
“Not the way I was hitting it in March! I couldn’t hold the bat. I’m delighted from where I was,” the Moseley product said when asked whether he’d believe he would be getting an England call prior to the season.
“I’m really excited and it’s nice to be recognised this season. I’ve never played or even been to Australia before so it’ll be a great experience. I hope to learn a lot of things and push myself to try and get a lot of positives out of it.
“I’ve been with Frosty (Tony Frost) and he’s been taking time out of his October which I’m really grateful for. I’ve been down to Loughborough a few times and Trotty’s (Jonathan Trott) has been there so it’s nice to see a familiar face.
“I think there’s a balance as you’ve got to enjoy it, but naturally I’m going out there determined to do as well as I can.”
The Bears red ball double was certainly a whirlwind couple of weeks for Will Rhodes’ side. The Somerset celebrations were halted and then resumed once the Bob Willis Trophy was in the hands of the Bears.
The squad had their customary six-week downtown following the successful campaign and Yates admits he doesn’t know whether he’ll truly believe it happened.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in and I don’t know if or when it well,” concluded the left-hander. “Since the end of the season it’s been pretty busy with thinking about going down under and progression into next season.
“I’ve printed a few photos off of the special day here at Edgbaston and from Lord’s and it’s two weeks I’ll never forget.
“I’ve spoken to a few of the lads about that (Somerset) and we’ve been saying that the Hampshire game here (Edgbaston), if we had beaten them it might not have been such a great occasion. I don’t think there’s many days in county cricket that anyone can remember like that. Against the odds it was brilliant.”
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