Leask enjoying life at Taunton
Michael Leask speaks to Gary Heatly about life at his new county, Somerset.
Scotland cap Michael Leask is loving life down in Somerset and is looking forward to learning from the likes of Marcus Trescothick, Chris Rogers, Chris Gayle and Mahela Jayawardene over the summer.
The 25-year-old from Aberdeen joined up with the Taunton-based county after the Twenty20 World Cup with the Scots earlier this year and his top team debut came on May 20 away to Kent.
That was at Canterbury in the Natwest T20 Blast south group match and although Somerset lost Leask, who batted four and made eight from four balls including a six in that one, wants more top team action in the coming months.
The man who learnt his trade at Stoneywood-Dyce said: “I first met Matthew Maynard from Somerset when he came out to help us at a Scotland batting camp in Dubai in late 2014.
“During that trip we had a few chats and things went from there and he then offered me a chance to join Somerset from the 2016 season.
“That was really great for me, but I knew that I had a lot to work on in the period before joining up with Somerset because county cricket is a big step-up from the club matches I had been used to.
“Since that batting camp I have worked very hard on every aspect of my game and I think I learnt a lot in 2015 because I was working regularly with the other Cricket Scotland contracted players and we also played a lot of matches together.
“To play in a 50-over World Cup last year was a dream come true while the T20 World Cup earlier this year was also a great spectacle. As a group we pushed each other on to get better.
“I only had a couple of days back home in between the T20 event and my move down to Somerset and it was a bit daunting thinking that I was moving so far away from family and friends, but being a cricketer is all that I have ever wanted.
“My parents have been a great support to me throughout my career and they told me to go to Somerset, enjoy it and make the most of the opportunity.
“As soon as I arrived down here the players all made me feel really welcome and it is a lovely area.”
Leask, who as well as being a hard-hitting batsman is also a useful spinner in white ball cricket, played a lot of early season T20 cricket for Somerset’s second XI.
The run included 43 against Sussex and 62 against Gloucestershire and gave him his first XI chance in the Kent match.
“When I heard I was to be involved against Kent I was really excited because my aim coming down here was to push into the first team picture in the limited overs game to start with,” Leask said.
“While we did not win that one it was great to be part of the Natwest T20 Blast and to know that there are world class players like Chris Gayle and Mahela Jayawardene still to come in is so exciting because being close to these guys and watching how they go about their business can only help me progress.
“I must admit it is a bit weird still turning up to nets and there are international stars like Marcus Trescothick and Chris Rogers there to give me advice and tips.
“They used to be people I watched on TV and now they are team mates, but it really is brilliant and they are so good with helping me out.
“I know there are a lot of quality players at the club, but I just have to keep performing with the second XI and take my opportunities if they continue to come in the first team.”
Images courtesy of Somerset CC